I feel like I live in two worlds.
I recently bought a pear tree (note to self: buy a partridge) and needed to drive slowly along the back roads on the way home. My route took me through the small town of Clayton, Indiana, and my double-vision kicked in.
Clayton is a country village a few miles south of the county seat, which is a slightly larger town. The historic homes along Clayton’s main road invited me to slow down and enjoy the sights – spreading shade trees, lovely flower beds, and a woman mowing a yard.
Juxtaposed against this, I could also envision women in long skirts and sidewalks walking of boards. Families would have hitched a wagon and taken regular trips into Danville for supplies. The Presbyterian Church has been around since the 1830s, and descendants of the original settlers probably still worship there.
Farther on, country roads took me through flat farmland. A tractor rumbled through the field for spring plowing, but I could also see a team of horses straining against their harnesses, and the man taking his hat off and wiping his brow. In the fall, a combine will roar through, harvesting corn or soybeans most likely. Or could it be a long row of men and women wielding scythes and tying up shooks of wheat or oats?
By the time I got the pear tree home (leaves still intact, thank goodness), I was back fully in the modern world. But the more I read and write historical fiction, the more I live in the past and the easier it is for my imagination to overlay today with scenes of pioneer times.
It’s rather a nice sort of double-vision to have.
What about you? Can you “see” a previous time laid over our modern lives? When you’re traveling, or at home, too? How far back does your imagination take you?