Saluda could stand to take notes on wabi sabi

Published 10:40 am Friday, September 13, 2013

Year after year after year 

I have come to love slowly

how old houses hold themselves—

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before November’s drizzled rain 

or the refreshing light of June—

as if they have all come to agree 

that, in time, the days are no longer 

a matter of suffering or rejoicing.

I have come to love 

how they take on the color of rain or sun 

as they go on keeping their vigil

without need of a sign, awaiting nothing

more than the birds that sing from the eaves, 

the seizing cold that sounds the rafters.

– Robert Cording
“Old Houses”

I love old houses. Old cars. Things that have a past, a history, flaws, character that knits a story together over the years, a sense of memory. Here in Saluda our historic buildings, many old homes along shaded streets and the railroad tracks all are part of the town’s  history. Over the decades, structures have been lost to fire, disrepair and sometimes just someone wanting something new and “improved.”

Folks, I’ve said this repeatedly, perhaps ad nauseum: but once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Word came to my unbelieving ears that an old building, a part of Saluda’s past, on one of our seven hills, might be destroyed and replaced with a modular home. Can they do that?  All I can say is we, as a town, as a community, must protect what we have and cherish it. In Japan, a broken pottery vessel is patched with gold, making the flaw something of great beauty: wabi sabi it is called.