Sometimes things are hidden in the strangest places...
That is what I thought the day I came across this beautiful old and broken Singer sewing machine stand. I was in a tiny town in the Deep South, 4 miles from a very busy interstate, in a building that had only a broom handle holding the door shut, and a tattered no trespassing sign that was posted many years ago.
What was amazing about this find is that it is a highly coveted piece among those who love antiques, yet it was sitting forgotten and left unprotected from those who would steal it. Even with some of the wooden pieces broken and showing signs of neglect, it had lots of value. There were still enough original pieces that with some work by loving hands it could be restored. Just the cast iron parts of the sewing machine stand is valued by those who could repurpose it.
I took 4 quick pictures of the stand from outside the building and then my friend who had discovered this piece closed the door putting the broom handle firmly in place. As we walked away, I had so many thoughts go through my head. "I sure hope no one steals this beautiful piece." "Why is this stand abandoned in this building as if it has so little value?" "I wonder what caused this stand to be put away." "Has it been forgotten?" "Will the owners ever rescue it from its exile before someone else sees the value in it and steals it?" But most of all, I wondered how something that at one time was someone's treasured sewing machine cabinet that played a vital part in meeting the basic needs of a family and was used by someone to express their love for others came to be sitting in a building abandoned and treated as if it no longer had value.
As a photographer who enjoys traveling the backroads recording old and forgotten relics, I often stumble upon pieces like this. I have found broken gas pumps, old soda bottles, abandoned houses, and even letters written by a mother to her child cast about a bedroom. Each time, I wish I knew the story. I imagine that in the beginning the item was new and brought joy to a person's life. That is was used for its intended purpose resulting in its full value being realized. Then, at some point, it was left for newer, shinier things or the person who originally treasured it passed away and it was left to a generation that no longer values it.
I think that it is this very thing that resonate with me. It reminds me that my story is not much different. There are things that I have been blessed with--some physical things and some intangible dreams, abilities, and accomplishments-- that I have discarded in my life as if they hold no value. As I reflect on this, I realize that some of those things I put away because I started chasing newer, shinier things, forgetting the greatness of what I already had. Then there are some things that I discarded because I allowed someone else to tell me it had no value or I listened to lies that I told myself. Some of those things are forever lost to me, especially the physical things from which I walked away. But some of those things, especially those intangible treasures, are sitting in some dusty forgotten corner of my heart behind a door with a no trespassing sign and only a broom handle holding the door closed. It wouldn't take much for me to open that door and revisit those treasures. If I did open that door, I would probably find that with some work those things could be restored to the beautiful functioning place they deserve in my life. I know I love to see a building restored or a forgotten piece once again treasured. Wouldn't it make sense to do the same thing in my life instead of allowing those valuable things to crumble away to a point of being unable to give joy to myself and others?
What about you? What do you need to rediscover and bring back to life? Do you have a dream that you put away? Did you stop doing something you loved because you allowed busyness or other people to steal those things from you? I hope that pictures like this challenge you like they do me to ignore the no trespassing signs that we posted ages ago, remove the broom handle that holds the door shut, and reacquaint yourself with the valuable things we have locked away. Let's not leave them there to fall apart in hiding. We have something valuable to share with the world.
Hello! I am Dawnita Hall. Sometimes I need to put into words the things God is teaching me. This blog is my way of sharing those moments with you with the hopes that what God is using to grow and encourage me will also inspire you. Please, share your thoughts in the comment sections after each post. Let's make this a place where we work together to encourage each other to live inspired to be an inspiration.