Please note that this blog is a work of fiction.
There is a long, crumbling , old stone fence on my property. It doesn’t function as a fence anymore at least not one that would actually keep anything or anyone out. The fence is in the forest. A few words about my property. The house is from 1910. The land has been farmed for at least 200 years. Boundary lines changed over the course of the centuries but not by much. I own fifteen acres of which approximately ten is forest, four acres devoted to orchard and about an acre of land around the house.
The forest is mostly fir. There are other trees but my learning what they are is going to take time (I hope you didn’t come to this blog hoping to actually learn something.) Pine needles keep the ground rather springy and fragrant and as I grope and stumble through barely discernible paths I am grateful for the smell and the soft landing for when I stumble.
The fence, about thirty feet long, is north of my house and I assume at one time it served as a boundary though I own a few acres on the other side of the fence. I’m not much of a one for “woo” but I get a definitely feeling from this fence. A sense of solidity and time. Whoever built it did not use cement. Each stone is put in place by hand in a way that respects its size and shape. The stones all hold one another up. It must have taken years to build.
The fence feels like a living thing. It has ferns growing through it. It has moss and lichens. It is a soft thing and I imagine that snakes are going to find it a warm place to bask when the sun shines through the trees.
I can’t shake the feeling that when I walk around my land, I am trespassing on someone else’s land. Of course, on the one hand, I own the property. On the other hand of course, the whole of the US was stolen from its native inhabitants. I know that. What I’m talking about here though is something more visceral. I wander through the woods, hearing bird song and feeling like I’m close to walking into another time. Please…stay with me…I’m not someone who usually talks like this.—I’m an accountant for goodness sake. I hear things rustling in the woods. I know they are birds, or squirrels, or deer. I sometimes catch a faint whiff of wood smoke. I sometimes get a fleeting memory from a life that isn’t mine. Does that sound crazy? Of course it does. I mean, the image of dented iron pot came into my head and once I realized it was there I couldn’t see it anymore. I just knew I had thought of it in a way that was like a memory.
This hasn’t happened every time I go into the woods but most times. It’s almost like I go into a trance but when I become aware of being in the trance—I am then out of it.
But as my sister said in an email “Don’t be daft.” She thinks this is all due to the really abrupt and dramatic changes in my life.
I’m sure she’s right.