I used to look at photographs and focus on the faces of the people. My children when they were young. My parents when they were still alive.
But recently I found myself looking at the backgrounds behind the smiles. The inch thick, white pine paneling in my parent’s living room that my mother loved so much. The ancient oak in my parent’s front yard, backdrop for our first-day-of-school photos half a century ago (I am the youngest).
My childhood home has been sold. It is now occupied by renters, the oak cut down so that a motor home could be parked in the front yard. I find that loss of place brings a unique sorrow.
I must be getting old. Everything is overlain with ghosts of what used to be.