Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Passing of Old Ways

May 8, 1926


THE new today seems to be in the saddle. Changes are rapid and radical. So that we look upon the old as something far, far away.

But attractive as all new things are, there is something so mellow, rich and tried about the old. As in the case of an old friend who has gone through all our faults, our strange and often irritating ways, but who has caught the gold and lived on that.

Most of us prefer the new to the old, but every experience is blessed where we come in contact with something that has long been tried and which has stood the test.

To go into an old house a hundred or so years old, or to sit upon the ledge of a rock foundation that has held a beautiful structure for a long, long time is to feel the silent spirit of all that has hovered there.

I like the old farms that have stood for years. I like to wander over them. I like to listen to the stories of those who have worked them and loved them for so long.

What would we do without memory to sweeten this cup of life?

How memory beautifies every experience of life. I lifted from my desk among some choice papers today a letter that was written to me by my mother over a quarter of a century ago. It took me back to all that boyhood. The familiar hand, the quiet smile and warm arms that were always warm. The quaint humor but always and always that gentle solicitation for "my darling boy."

One works better, surer and happier anyway after one has crept back into he old things and old ways of old friends—if only to get a new, fresh breath.