Thursday, July 7, 2011

where time stood still

there are a few places on earth which remain, amazingly, as they were two or three hundred (or more) years ago, places time, for some interesting reason, seems to have ignored and passed over as it hurriedly moved on and set up shop elsewhere, leaving these isolated pockets of human activity to continue in the old ways, as if forgotten by the rest of the world.

coming across such a place is not, for most of us, an everyday occurrence. amish country in pennsylvania, certainly frozen in time, comes to mind, but i can't think of when i last drove somewhere, parked the car, looked around, saw evidence of human habitation but nothing else whatsoever, besides the car i arrived in and the one car belonging to the people who lived there, which would indicate the view i was looking at existed in the year 2011. and yet that is exactly what happened the day we drove down to the northern shore of horsens fjord where it widens out near some islands at the mouth of the fjord.

we left horsens around noon and drove through soevind toward the fjord on narrow, winding roads which led us past fields lush with growing wheat, hay, rape (brassica napus) and poppies, and pastures filled with lazily grazing horses and sheep. when henrietta showed me around the old barnyard where we parked and began our mile or so hike to the water—and passed yet another thatch house!—i was astonished by how much i felt i had gone back in time.

the very long, white, beautifully preserved farmhouse (one end of it probably housed cows and horses at one time), barns and other buildings, remain as they stood hundreds of years ago. the house is rented out to the retired headmaster of a private school in horsens, and the buildings are used by the school for educational purposes. there were no electric wires, street signs or paved roads; no farm machinery, gas grills or patio furniture were visible. in fact, nowhere to be seen were any of the conveniences or other trappings of modern life. all there was to see was revealed in nature's vast murals, tamed by the invisible hand of man and then left to continue on as nature always has and nature always will.

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