2017-08-02 - Weathered
The other day, as I rode in the car and my husband drove, I noticed so many places empty, places that used to be thriving businesses, homes that were once the talk of the town, with family activity and now with tarps thrown over them, or parts of them falling apart and overgrown yards and flower beds. The link between the businesses and homes changing in the last several years is something that many people are experiencing around the country in many cities. And throughout the decades, this pattern ebbs and flows, depending on the economy and types of work manifesting growth at any particular time. When those businesses and homes were at their peak, it was due to the height of steam engine building and passenger rail trains being a part of the Roanoke economy. Gradually, after the mid 1900s, changes occurred, filtering parts of those businesses elsewhere, along with most of the jobs to go along with the railroad.
Now what remain are the railroad museum, a few odd jobs, and tourist activities in the mountains surrounding our valley. Amtrak is supposed to return passenger train activity to the area in the near future, and a potential brewery within about five years. In the meantime, we wait and see, having come to an area that was once considered a “company town”.
The whole scenario of the place that’s been my home for a little over three decades, undergoing changes, got me thinking about the stages of my own life. I didn’t live here when the railroad and train travel were in their heyday, but I imagine it to have been very exciting time. For me, perhaps, like when my husband and I were early into marriage, and the kids were little. Life was full of excitement, energy, potential - all part of feeling vital within the parameters of our existence. It seemed like anything was possible, and we knew exactly what we needed to do at that stage of our lives. Now I am twenty years older, and we could sum it up by saying I feel a bit worn and weathered from the storms. And while mentally I am hopeful and excited about the future, my body is tired, and I have sympathy for the worn-down structures we drove past, untended yards and broken-down vehicles. Perhaps the lesson is just to take some time to regroup, and soon it will become clear what is coming next. While the city works on the next business deal, maybe I should do more praying and fasting, reading and contemplating, and taking time to breathe deeply and be more reflective. It’s ironic how we may suddenly have little to do but think about life, when we once surmised we might never be able to form a decent and complete thought again. My God has a sense of humor. He also has great timing. So I will prayerfully wait on his timing.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” (Matthew 7:7)
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.