The bar tops in my restaurant are being made of lumber that was reclaimed from Rockford's old Railroad Freight House on Cedar Street. The Freight House was built in 1904, and the rings in the beams of wood suggest that the tree was about 200 years old when it was cut down. Which means that the tree took root in about 1704.
And 300 years later, I'm giving it new life. How beautiful.
Breathing new life into something old is good for the soul. I like "not giving up" on people or things that still have the potential to be useful. It's the idea that things can be repurposed that keeps me going.
My building at 1402 N Main Street in Rockford was originally built as a grocery store, an ice cream parlor, and several doctors' offices. Imagine if the building had been torn down and replaced when it no longer served that purpose. Without that building, this musician wouldn't have been given the fresh purpose of starting a cafe. And without the cafe (and artists moving in upstairs), the neighborhood wouldn't be experiencing the revitalization it is.
We all have the potential for new life. Our purpose may change as we age. But as long as we are here, we can keep contributing. We can find joy and pride. And we can even give fresh purpose to our communities as we persevere and evolve.
Besides, something "brand new" isn't always going to come along. So there's no point in waiting for it when we can make something new out of what we already have. Re-using old materials is more than just resourceful; it's what keeps us creative. It's what emboldens us to believe we don't go out of style.
I thought I would share that positive thought with you, Reader, just in case you need it. My dog Hank pulled through last week, and he's still with us. It's given me a fresh perspective. Whatever you're up to this week, I hope you find new life in your surroundings and in yourself. Every day is a chance for a fresh start. See you next Sunday. -Em