Treasures in the Woods

A rusty treasure.

At the edge of the field behind the farm, an old stone wall sits at the edge of acres of woods. If you venture beyond that mossy border, make sure you have thick boots on, as there are littered throughout that expanse hidden heaps of metal rusting away. Any step could unearth some remnant of the past from the dairy farm that once operated here.

The coolest find is what looks like a 1940s jalopy of a rusted dairy truck. Coils poke out of a cracked leather seat, while the whole structure sags, rotting into the leafy ground. A faded logo remains on one of the sides, the only clue as to its function.

If you continue along a loop of the tracks worn into the ground, you’ll arrive at a more modern but rusty vehicle. Showcasing a green patina with spray painted graffiti, the old car looks like a hipster’s art installation. What a contrast between the lines of the automobile with the nature surrounding it.

Upon further examination, the steering wheel seems to invite you to try it out. One of my nephews has done this, a precocious five-year-old climbing onto the seat, pretending to wake the car from its eternal sleep.

For me, these cars and the other rusting treasures lost in the woods provide a kind of magical otherness to the landscape, inviting the imagination. At some point they will decay beyond all recognition. A fate that awaits us all, I suppose.

I’m happy when I visit these old autos. They give me hope that the things we leave behind will continue to entertain or puzzle others, even long after we, and our corporeal trappings, are gone.

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