Musings on Newspapers in the Aberdeenshire Woods




On a rainy autumn day I was out exploring on a trail in the Aberdeenshire woods. Wandering off path to explore as I often do, I came to a clearing that revealed the ruin of a house. It was a typical ruin, with various items left behind in the surrounds such as household artefacts, machinery etc. But there was one thing a bit different. I almost tripped over a stack of newspapers, from the early 1980’s. Not that old, no, but still a glimpse into the past, and around the time I was born made it a bit more personal.




When I saw that there were a LOT of stacks of papers, with burn marks throughout, I remembered an article I had read from a couple years ago about some newspapers found in the woods in Aberdeenshire - I had stumbled into the same place. They were wet, moldy, and had become a cozy place for a variety of mushrooms and creepy crawly beasties. I left them as they were after noting a few headlines.





Sure, its trash. And a pile of newspapers isn’t exciting to most compared to other treasure that are found. But I connect to things like this. Tangible links to a daily life that has since moved on. Those papers were delivered to someone. Someone worked that crossword puzzle. This used to be someone’s home. I am always very respectful around ruins, no matter what type of ruin they are. And I always take a moment to quietly take it all in, to be one with the place and anyone who might have been there before. To think about what their story might have been, why they chose to live there, what memories they made, why they left.




And with this comes the inevitable reflection on the earth reclaiming what humans have scarred. Trees and bushes and fields grow up, wood rots, stone crumbles. Things that once saw daylight become grown over and hidden. The echoes of human stories go to sleep inside the tendrils of growing vines, sink into the rotting wood, trickle away with every fresh rainfall. But they are there, becoming part of the energy of the place, imprinted on the memory of the nature that swallows them. And I always like to take this energy in for a bit before I move on.







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