Sustenance

An unusually hot, dry Nova Scotia summer that exhausted many wells and exposed riverbeds for the first time in decades has started to give way to the clear, cool mornings of September and the renewed sense of purpose fall brings.

At our old place, July and August proved productive. All of the demolition and stripping out is done, new bathrooms are going in, and new kitchen windows and wide garden doors now take full advantage of the inlet view.

Greg is the workhorse; I am the purveyor of lunch and dispenser of ideas. Together, we have seen a full season through at the blue house with the red barn and it feels right. We have almost accepted the stubborn slope of the floors in some spots, and we have discovered that shiplap is an excellent foil for unforgiving walls.

The apple and pear trees so dense with blossoms in May produced an abundance of small and spotty fruit, nothing worth presenting in a pie or preserving in a mason jar (were we skilled in such arts). From one weekend to the next, every pitiful pear along with most of the fallen apples that dotted the yellowing grass have disappeared – an imperfect bounty for birds and deer.

Behind the barn, the squirrels have started stockpiling stubby pinecones, hundreds of them, with a seeming foreknowledge of a harsh winter ahead. One brazen squirrel has taken to chattering angrily at us from the barn’s rafters, as if to put us on notice that he intends to make it his own again soon.

As we soldier on into fall, this small patch of earth, its humble house and sturdy barn, offers to sustain us all.

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