“Tell me a story.”
If you’re a parent, you’ve heard that plea any number of times. If you were ever a kid (I suspect that’s likely the case!) then you’ve no doubt said them yourself. And why not? Is there anything quite so riveting as a well-told story?
Stories teach us about our world. They give us identity, culture, history, guide our moral development, entertain us, allow us to connect with our friends and family and even total strangers.
Stories are life.
Yesterday Bobbie joined me on the trail, and shared some of hers. One of the places she lived while growing up was Greece. I guess the folks there have some weather conditions similar to ours – not really in terms of temperature, but in the kinds of underfoot treachery that can develop where water meets ground. Here, the temperature’s been up near freezing and the sun’s been getting stronger, day by day, so the snow’s been thawing. In Minnesota, that can mean a solid-seeming surface over the top of slushy, watery snow; you step down on what you think will support you and suddenly you plunge through and go splash! or squish and if your boots aren’t properly waterproof you feel icy water seep onto your foot and maybe up your calf, if the hole you just stepped into is a little deeper than you think!
Bobbie says that happens a lot in Greece – holes that are much, much deeper than they appear. The winter is the rainy season, and while olive trees thrive, you could sink up above your knee if you were to go puddle-jumping!
One of the other things she said was that there were olive trees in Greece more than 2,000 years old.
Wrap your head around that for a bit. That’s nearly ten times the age of the United States. Think about what those trees might have witnessed over the years of their life. Changes in their hills… the people who sat in their shade, in all likelihood the same folks who harvested the trees’ fruit… the rise and fall of empires… eruptions of the Santorini Volcano.
Those olive trees have a story. Barn Bluff has a story. Every building, every site, every park on the National Register has a story…
…and every photograph has the potential to preserve and tell part of those stories.