Monday, May 24, 2010
Did you know that an entire rural community used to gather to build a barn? The entire structure was completed in a matter of a day or two. Neighbors would come from far and wide to participate in the barn raising, and it’s likely that some of them might not even personally know the family whose barn they were building. The only expectation was if a barn was needed, the community would assist with its construction. It is amazing to think that such selflessness was displayed by people, and that they expected little if anything in return.
Also, consider the number of people who gathered and talked during those events. It’s likely that some of them only saw each other occasionally, so they had much to catch up on. I’m sure that it was a family affair. The men probably bore the physical work on the structure, the ladies likely prepared and served the meal, and the children either helped if they were old enough or played with the other neighborhood children. The setting sounds surreal, something like you would see in an old Currier and Ives painting.
Some barns also bore the distinguished designation as the local community meeting place for social events. Dances and picnics and other community events may be held under their majestic roofs. Some barns still have this function today. Events range from weddings and receptions to the town hall meetings where the mayor spoke. Barns definitely evoke a sense of community in more ways than one.
You can also bring that spirit into your home with reclaimed barnwood furniture. Your neighbors may not gather to assist you in bringing it into your home, nor may your home be big enough to hold community-wide dances. But, you can certainly invite neighbors, friends, and even newcomers into your home where they can enjoy your barnwood living room or dine at your barnwood dining room table. Yesterday’s community spirit is shining bright in that characteristic wood. Your guests may feel a little more like celebrating with that spirit rising up within them. Adding reclaimed barnwood furniture to your home will certainly make it more of a community meeting place.