Yesterday on the way home from work we took a detour and visited an old stone house I hadn't been back to in many years. It is an historic squared granite fieldstone house dating back to the early 1800s built by skilled Scottish masons. When I was first starting out learning the trade, I had the opportunity to work with a heritage mason who had been hired to do careful restoration on this house, repointing and replacing some stones, where the previous owners had done some rather unsympathetic renovations. I learned a lot that summer about traditional structural stonework.
I remember seeing the new owners planting trees one day either side of the long driveway. I hadnt thought about those trees until now.
As the guys and I walked down the shaded lane way towards the house this day I noticed these maple trees had grown to become very tall. I became acutely aware of the great span of time which had elapsed and that I had become 'older'. It was a strange and somewhat foreign experience.
Seeing these trees, like running into people I haven't seen for a long time, suddenly made me aware of the aging process. The gradual changes youth and beauty are subjected to over time on these occasions, doesn't seem that gradual. By contrast, the stone house we went to see looked just the same, old and beautiful.
The thing about handling and working with stones instead of trees everyday is that you don't notice that you're getting older. Trees and animals and people remind you that time is at work. You may not 'feel' your age particularly, but you will often recognize you are not as young as other people or things around you.
Stones, on the other hand, are so old, that no matter what age you are, you always feel young around them.