Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Barn Charm, Boundary Bay and Leontien

To be honest, I never thought I would be watching barns with such interest, but the blog meme "Barn Charm" has me hooked.  A bird-watching day (more about the birds in future posts) at Boundary Bay yielded lots of amazing birds but I began to realize it is also a prime barn viewing opportunity.

The bright red ones always seem to add warmth to the view.

This one's charm, for me, is in its soft lines.

The entire day was one of the most beautiful we have seen for quite some time around Vancouver.  In the late afternoon, there was a different light, almost impossible to capture, and even more challenging to describe.
My response to it was one of euphoria.  I only learned a day later that Leontien had died that day (Thursday, January 10th).  She and her family had run an enormous dairy farm in Indiana.  I will forever after associate that luminous glow as "Leontien's light" but will try my best not to allow it to make me sad, because its energy will be as beautiful and as full of vitality as she was.  

I only became aware of her blog during the Leaves for Leontien project.  That she could have made such a significant impact on my life in such a short time is tribute to her dynamism.  The picture below and on the left is the one shown on the funeral home's page where you can also view a tribute video. The one on the right was posted at the top of her blog by her family and shows her with her husband, Bastiaan, the love of her life.  My heart goes out to him and to all of her family and friends.  Hers was a rare spirit that will enrich and strengthen them, but for now, I know there is a huge hole in each one of their hearts.  I can only hope that knowing that Leontien was loved by so many will bring some comfort to them. 

I have one more barn to show in this post.

I believe it would have made Leontien laugh.  We had noticed it on the way to Boundary Bay.  Bill, ever conscious of my interests, decided to stop.  (Thank you, Bill, not only for this wonderful day, but for all the ways you highlight life's pleasures.)  At first, I was distracted by the view across the road from that barn.  It seemed there were barns as far as the eye could see.  How had I not noticed them in previous trips to Boundary Bay?

"Our" barn wasn't deserted.  I could see a couple of people inside one of the doorways and there were vehicles parked outside.   

There was a need for some work on the roof.  The couple of people that we saw appeared to be busy, but perhaps, one day, we will learn a little more of this barn's story.  I like to think that it is someone's dream and maybe even destined for a restoration project.

I found its doors and windows charming.

It would be amazing to look through them.. 

from the other side.

 I especially loved the little attic window at the top.

Here is the part that I feel pretty sure would bring a smile to Leontien's face.  I wonder who sat in those chairs and whether they might, one day, be repaired so that someone else can enjoy the view from the top of that barn.

Thank you, Leontien, for sharing your journey and your beautiful light with us.  I am convinced that your spirit will continue to brighten the lives of each one of us fortunate enough to have met you, whether in person, or via the magical powers of internet.  

To meet a few of the people who have inspired me to look at barns more closely, perhaps you will find a few moments to check out the Barn Charm blog meme.


  1. oh, this was wonderful. leontien truly did touch so many of us with her spirit and love of life and her DREAMS and stories...

    and i am so glad you are now hooked on barns. makes me smile, as i know that feeling well... :)

  2. Hi, there,
    Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my Barn Charm post today.

    What an interesting post you've written today. The light in your 3rd and 4th photos is amazing, and I love how you connected it with Leontien. (Sadly, although I'd seen her name about blogland, I really knew nothing about her.) Obviously, she was a special person.
    I'm going to look around your blog for a bit!

  3. Beautiful! I especially love the first one!

  4. Barns sure come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and states of repair. - Margy

  5. How tragic to be given something as precious as life only to see it snatched away in youth. I remember Leontien very well and her wish to squeeze each moment of joy and purpose that she possibly could out of life. She was loved in her time of trouble and her memory will be cherished by many.

    If prayers alone could have saved her she would be here today as would hundreds of thousands of others, including in my family. Science must get a firmer grip on this dreadful disease. I sometimes think that rather than building more buildings and administering more poisons to cope with the illness there needs to be equal focus on causes and prevention. And general practitioners in the front lines must be ever more alert to the initial signs of the different cancers that are treatable if caught early.

  6. Carol, thanks for the lovely tribute to Leontien. You found quite a variety of barns too.

  7. This is a lovely tribute to Leontien!
    She was obviously a very special young woman!

    Alas, I gave up a beautiful book about barns when we moved here. You would have loved it! Phyllis

  8. what a beautiful post. so lovely.

    i really love the 1st shot. what a gorgeous view. ( :

  9. Barns can be addictive so be careful. :)

    Lovely tribute to Leontien.

  10. Very touching post & I thank you for posting this for Barn Charm... thank you for your kind words for Barn Charm, too.

    Much appreciated =)

  11. Carol, you were in MY neighbourhood! I know each and every one of those places here, but I wanted to tell you to go to Wellbrook Winery and take the opportunity to photograph its barn and surroundings. Go into the gift shop and see what they sell there, too!

    Here is its website http://wellbrookwinery.com/site/contact-us/map-and-directions.html and if you go, let me know and I'll come with you!

  12. That is so funny because I just drove by "your" barn yesterday and it stood out to me, too. I only remember it now because of your pictures. Have a good day!

  13. This may be late but you definitely make the most out of your photography skills while you're on the road. These barns are all very inspiring but the third one is my favorite. The shape of the roof is very unique and tough-looking. I think it's best to use this kind of roofing for huge barns. Thanks for sharing. >Kip @ TittleBrothers.com