When I was in France in the summer, we came across an abandoned church. It was one of the most beautiful places I’d ever seen, despite the wire fencing that surrounded it and the DANGER signs, and it was also one of the saddest.
By putting my arm and camera through the gaps in the fence I was able to take photos that captured only the stillness and not the human presence there. I found them on my computer today, and decided to share them.
At first I was a little annoyed that we couldn’t get close to the church, but when I saw how crumbling the cornerstones were I didn’t protest. The whole thing could fall down at any moment.
See what I mean?
The sunlight was playing tricks at that time of day, too, and we saw some really beautiful effects with the light behind the hollow window spaces.
The above is probably my favourite out of every photo I took while we were there, because I just love the loneliness and the strange sense of hope. I’m definitely going to consider using this as artwork for my books.
This fallen iron cross looks far too much like something on a film set for one to believe it’s actually there, but I promise you that’s exactly how it looked.
I couldn’t help feeling that a place like that should have been cold and spooky, but it wasn’t. It was beautiful, peaceful and lonely.
Even so, there were reminders that this place was very definitely in the modern world, and the fence was one of those.
Though I, like a good little girl, stayed firmly on the correct side of the barrier, I wasn’t going to let the fence get in the way of my photos, so I put my whole hand through.
It may be a little hard to see, but if you look carefully at this last photo you’ll notice that among all the dead leaves and the grey, wasted ground, you’ll see nature showing its stubbornness in the form of a few little flowers, clustered together as though for warmth.