Earlier this week, I spent hours walking the streets of Lynchburg, Virginia
and taking hundreds of photographs of historic houses, churches and gardens.
I was stopped in my tracks by this particular house.
What made me pause and put down my camera?
Why did I feel the need to sit down and then circle this property?
Did it remind me of someone’s home in my childhood years?
Was there some architectural aspect that seemed familiar?
Its facade does vaguely resemble the Moses Cone Manor in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
Did it remind me of another mansion or plantation that I have previously photographed?
I tried to recall, but nothing came to me.
Still. Here I was standing here. Stalking an empty house in a strange city.
A middle-aged woman in sensible shoes and flowered pants lugging a camera.
(I was trending, not blending.)
This has happened before. I refer to it as a presence.
The air is thicker, everything slows, there is a peaceful pause in time.
Was it the spirit of one of the Langhornes?
Something pulled me and held me there.
I wanted to stay, but a dog barked and broke the spell.
I moved on to wander and wonder.
FLOW on the GO
4 thoughts on “A Place with a Presence”
When we bought our house in Newark, I told my Mum that it felt like my grandparents’ house that I had little memory of. “I’m not surprised”, said Mum, “it’s exactly the same”.
Yes, The unfamiliar seems familiar. I think children absorb more from their surroundings than adults do. As adults we still have those deep memories that cannot quite surface. Or maybe it was a ghost? Whatever it was, it felt like an oasis of calm in a bustling city.
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It looks like the White House and has better inhabitants.
Sometimes nobody is better than somebody.
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