Next I climb the narrow back stairs, watching for rotting wood, and gain the second floor. Walking through a succession of small rooms, presumably bedrooms, I scan for bits of lives left behind: an old metal curtain rod perhaps, or any furniture or broken items left behind, unheeded. The wind gently blows around the eaves up here, and I feel those whose lives were bound up in this place. Little skittering noises run around the floorboards, but all else is entombed in the whispering silence. How many children were tucked into bed up here? I know there were children as there are still broken swings in the yard. How many seasons of harvest did this family see? Was it a good life?
Back downstairs in the main room, I stand before the stone, cold fireplace, once the heart of the home. It looks to be made of rock possibly quarried from the surrounding dessert. There is a dusty, broken desk in a corner, and piles of leaves strewn about the wooden floor. Abandoned and lonely, the home whispers of its past, its glory days and its stories to any who will pause and listen in the silence. I can almost feel the people who once lived here, can almost touch their lives. This is the place where together they struggled, laughed, despaired, cried and loved. This is the house they called home and that sheltered them. They once came and I've gone back, so the two of us can almost, almost touch.
I shiver and head for the back door, back to sunlight and the company of my real-life husband. He is sitting on an old rusty abandoned tractor, lost in his own thoughts for a moment. Beside the back door a lone rose still blooms, on a bush struggling for life. As I bend to smell, it also whispers to me that here in this lonely place there is still life and beauty .