Many rural communities in developed nations only have faint memories of their past, and these tend to be of crises and tragedies: the loss of their school, a flood or great fire, and the closures of major industries. Some residents only half joke when they say there may not be a community there when their grandchildren are grown. Indeed the towns are filled with the symbols of a bygone day: unused, ageing buildings, abandoned and collapsing farms, and old people ending their days alone and without much to engage their creativity. These negative images of past and present unconsciously dominate anticipations of the future, as though residents have forgotten the resilience and courage of their ancestors who carried on through fire and flood, through boom and bust. Talk of the future is of failure and not challenge; there is little experience of reality as objective existence in which change and rebuilding are possible.