Last Friday, after a trip from an Indiana Dairy farm, a stint in Turner's Falls being restored, and a test run through hurricane Irene to see if the new paint would run, the barn cupola was put up. Testimony to how right it looks is that few if any neighbors noticed that it is new.... a feat for a 10+ feet high metal object with a big red ox on top of it.
Since getting here, we've been restoring this old farm's landscape to honor the history of this place, the sublime beauty of the surroundings and to contribute our share to the spaces here as a reflection of who we are. Getting the cupola up with the ox is fitting for this time. It represents a beautiful end to the great amount of work to stabilize the barn's foundations, to shore up its walls, to add windows and to get the barn cleaned to a state that befits it's elegance as a structure, and it's status as a living memory of the people and animals that passed through it's doors. In this barn, the last in many generations of farmers of this land died doing what he loved. If all of us could be so blessed to go doing what we love.
I think alot about the power of history, memory and place and how they all intersect. Living in New England, it's part of the deal, though I guess that anywhere it's part of the deal. Looking up at that ox, an animal in the Chinese zodiac that represents steadiness, reliability and determination, I am reminded of the commitment I feel to honor the gift I receive which is to wake up and do the work I do and love.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to the projects on the barn over these years.....