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A Fading Life

rouse hill house2

Last week I accompanied Isaac’s class as a parent volunteer on an excursion to Rouse Hill House. It was a lovely day and I benefitted from the experience probably just as much as the children did. The children were given the opportunity to explore how one family lived in this property for six generations and left behind fragments of their lives. The cumulative result is on display as part of a “Sydney Living Museums” historical experience. Many things caught my attention, from the sprawling property on a hill, with a stately house, old bricks in winding paths, rusting broken sheds, a magnificent stable for prize winning race horses, a pump to draw water from a well, old world gardens. Apart from the noise from the nearby highway, I was away in a different time and space.

The diary and writings of one of the family members, a young girl revealed a time when life was both simple and homely and full of hardship as people navigated the discovery of a new country and through their genuine hard work and ingenuity established a home for themselves. 

Yet, when one surveys the remnants of a legacy, the overwhelming feeling is one of sadness. Eventually it all comes to nothing. Life Decays.  

As memories of such a time fade, I reflect on the words of the preacher in

Ecclesiastes 2:11 “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun”