The habits of herons, their love of tall fir trees and their mad, strangled caw were not something I had thought of before. Nor had I ever worried about the health of a languid garter snake or contemplated the snacking choices of fat round bunnies.
Over the past year and a bit, our once ramshackle homestead afforded us the luxury to observe the little wonders that became a gentle reprieve from plaster dust and paint. With no television and a weak cell signal best caught between barn and house, simple escapes into the small farm’s ecosystem were as much necessity as choice.
But, the heavy work is behind us and the mad world will not be kept at bay. The Internet has arrived, its modem flashing somewhere in the stone basement marking the constant, ceaseless flow of bits and bytes gathering into a flow of data prefixed by kilo, mega and giga. Our 19th century house: Now with real time updates.
Hardwired charging portals and shiny new appliances possessed of their own intelligence remind us that we are of this time. Try as we might to carry pieces of the past along for the ride – a quarter-sawn oak table, a couple of spool beds, and a pretty step-back china cabinet – we should not forget that we sit in a fully-renovated house first explored on Google street view.
This reinvented blue house will not insulate us from the modern age we mostly willingly inhabit, but I hope it provides us the rare opportunity to unplug and and set an easier pace in step with our surroundings.