Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my
my new life on the land
There Be Dragons
The thing that you should know off the top is that I’m a city boy.
I know concrete, asphalt, city blocks with house after house, stretching out from yesterday to tomorrow. Yeah, sure, there was a week here and there over a couple of summers when my parents rented a cottage – more like an out building – on a farmer’s back pasture, with almost a lake and, if I wandered back to the barn, pigs, chicken and I suppose a cow. I remember collecting fresh chicken eggs and harassing the pigs, but I don’t remember cows.
My first official encounter with a cow came during my lost second year in university. The woman whom I was dating at the time had an assignment – from her journalism course (?) – to write/photograph cows at the Central Experiment Farm across the canal from the university. I when along, met the great beasts, stepped in cow plops and saw this hung bull separated in its own enclosure.
While not being one of those who can only imagining living/dying in the Big Smoke – Toronto – and who firmly believe that there be dragons north of the 401, I have always lived in the cores of few cities that have been my home.
But soon - too soon? - with my wife – here after officially referred to as the wife – I will be moving into a house about 20 minutes from beautiful downtown Perth, drawing water from a well and shitting into a septic system.
I’ve been up there for the better part of a day: the first thing that I noted was the quiet. There’s always some noise creeping through city streets, pushing its way into the house, letting you know that there is a there there. On the land, on the property that will soon be our home, there is an immense quiet. On that day, this quiet was only interrupted by the sound of flies – great fucking huge flies, deer flies maybe – buzzing around my head. Flies were there through the hot day; but if I stayed in or sat on the screened porch, they were away and not in my ear.
I can image that there will be dark, a real dark, that will let the sky fill with stars and planets that I will see as stars, and where at night, even to walk from my front door to my back door I will need a flashlight.
But go I must. Maybe later I will talk about the whys and wherefores of the move. But for now it’s enough to write that on the day that we first saw the place, before wandering into the house, the wife stepped behind and away from the house. The grass was mostly burn brown from the summer’s heat, but the ground was littered with granite outcroppings, cracked, with moss and wild things growing. Standing beside her, I could feel her shoulder’s relaxing and a deep sigh releasing from her and I knew that she had found what could be her home.