New Day

140508 Sunrise

I often post photographs of the sunrise over the weathervane in Rowe but today’s feels a little different.  After much prep I am here full time.  It’s not exactly the way I had anticipated this all happening over the years but really, how many of us can say that things turn out the way we planned?

I understand that I am more than fortunate to be able to do this in a place that is so special to me.  It’s not so much the house or property but the spirit of a place that’s been my home for well over 50 years.  I have lived in other places for much, much longer than the cumulative number of years I’ve lived in Rowe but there is no other place that I feel calmer, safer than here.

The bedroom I’m currently occupying faces east.  I chose this one for the sole reason of seeing the sunrise in the morning.  I just situated the bed so the sun wouldn’t shine right in my eyes should I oversleep and miss it peeking over the horizon. I also crack the window open a bit before I go to bed to have the frogs lull me to sleep at night and the birds wake me up in the morning. To me there is no better way to end or start a day.

The move went like clockwork, my father is settling into his home of almost 50 years.  He slept late and commented on how he hasn’t slept that well in 2 years. Although he will miss the people who surrounded him in his time away I can’t help but think this will be healing in its own way.  Rowe is so much more home to him and Fort Pelham Farm is what he brought into my life.

Living in Two Places

130502 Back Forty Pond

I’ve lived in a few places. Work, family, friends, lovers have all taken me all over but I always have come back to Rowe.  A person I grew up with told me that this town was part of his soul, he hasn’t lived here since 1975.  I know that feeling, where you drive into a place over a familiar road not seen in a while and something happens, you feel it in your gut, that little flutter.  You know you are home.

I live in two worlds, fortunately they are close enough in distance so I can escape one for the other. Rowe

Just for my own comparison I snipped out the vital info about Rowe and Enfield.  Rowe with its 24 square miles and 393 people compared to Enfield with its 34 square miles and 44,654 people at last count. That means there is .49 acres per person in Enfield and 39.09 per person in Rowe.  No wonder I feel like I’m suffocating while I’m in CT.  That’s probably not a fair assessment but it does speak to the rural vs. urban/suburban situation I find myself in.

Enfield, CT

You will also notice the difference in temperature and dew point.  In the summer it’s a difference you notice, in the winter it’s night and day.  The growing season is at least 2 weeks ahead in Enfield.  The last frost is something we see at the end of April.  In Rowe there is nothing that goes into my garden earlier than Memorial Day – ever.

The one difference I truly notice is the quiet (and solitude).  In Enfield there is air traffic over our house close to 24 hours a day – we are on the landing path to Bradley in CT.  I think at night I can see the people sitting in their seats as they fly in for a landing.  The street we live on is very busy and we are within hearing distance of the railroad tracks where Amtrak runs during the day.  Yes, planes, trains and automobiles – the noise never ends.  Everyone is always in a hurry to get nowhere as well.  You have to be a fairly aggressive driver in this harried place.  In our spare time in Enfield we can work on the house (with our neighbors chatting us up over the fence), shop or eat at a chain restaurant.  I used to have very large perennial gardens around the house but it’s not the quiet, meditative project that it is in Rowe.  Now I look at what I can dig up and move, turning the yard back into something that can just be mowed.

When I get home to Rowe everything slows down.  The driving, the breathing, the thinking – once I arrive there is nowhere I need to be but there.  There is enough to keep me occupied for days on end without ever leaving the property.  I breathe the clean air, listen to the birds, contemplate life.  My bedroom window is open at least three seasons so I can hear the owls at night and the birds wake me up in the morning.  I can drink my cup of coffee watching the sun rise over the back forty and the mist dissipate in its heat.

I think everyone needs to find a place of peace if they are not living in it.  I think that’s why people appear to be so crazy right now or they have such health problems.  They are so far removed from the natural world that they are never grounded – at all.  The sad thing is so many never know what it’s like to be grounded in nature, they don’t understand how healing it can be.  I know people I see often that I just want to shake and say “Take an afternoon and go to a state forest and walk, breathe, listen!  Hug a tree, absorb the energy around you.”  And they would look at me with those eyes that say “You are nuts.”