Golden hour photo of a wood bridge spanning a stretch of water.

The Old Wood Span

Golden hour photo of a wood bridge spanning a stretch of water.
The Old Wood Span — 14mm | f/8 | ISO 100 | EXP 1/30

To the romance of wood. The fuel of the hearth. The bones of the home. The backdrop of the written word. Nailed to the story of man wood’s place in civilization’s ascent is both secure and unsung. Its importance overshadowed by the power of stone, bronze, and iron. Perhaps there being no Wood Age—nor great monuments to its own—lends to its secondary status. Regardless, the power of the trees have freed us from the land and we should not forget.

While it has not the historical cachet of stone, bronze, or iron, it does invoke the warm feelings of a simpler time. This is where my mind runs when I look upon old, well-fashioned wooden structures. From an early age wood crafts, buildings, bridges, and even roller coasters fired my interest. The fine tuned skill and the care left behind from the souls who put all into their work. Underneath that work is history. Who built this? Where did they master their craft?And with whom? When was it built? How long did it take? And what of the material? Is it oak? Is it ash or pine? Where was it milled? From forest to work site to finished structure is where the grand narrative sits. For while this is the story of but one bridge, it’s the story of the bulwark of our civilization writ large. For ours is a story warmed by it, built upon it, and sheltered underneath it—the shaded age of wood has never ceased to be.

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