Sunday, July 26, 2009
House of Worship
This one-room chapel stands on a forest knoll in western North Carolina. Though only a short distance from the highway, it's invisibly isolated above it among ferns, trees and mountain laurel. It can be reached only by walking up a steep trail. Built around 1872 and made of hand-hewn poplar with hand-pressed glass window panes, until recently it was solidly monochromatic, with weathered, unpainted wood, but the soffit and fascia have been replaced in the last year. The austere lines are very appealing to me. Even a headstone on the grounds reflects the triangular pediments, all pointing toward heaven. Though the hard pews seem uninviting, there's an uncompromising integrity throughout that reflects the sensibility of the settlers who built it. The site, the sunlight through green, the wildlife all around - it's a place that inspires reverence.