Friday, August 26, 2005

Tufts

I enjoyed living in Treefield Connecticut. I had a premonition that some day my time there would come to an end, so I drank it all in.

Even though the cottage I lived in was a dinky little affair, I took the time to spruce it up and make it homey and appealing. Luckily, a very good friend stuck by me while I did the painting, flooring and detail work. When it was completed I really had something for myself. Far away from the nearest home, I was well nestled in a gentle wilderness.

The guy who owned the estate I was intended to mind came only very infrequently. In essence, I had 35 gorgeously wooded acres to myself. There was of course the main house, but I liked to pretend that it wasn’t there, so I went in only to check the pipes once in a while and to do my wash.

In summer evenings the tiniest beings would fill the air with deafening sound, calling to their mates and serenading me only when I cared to listen. Just outside my door deer would chomp on cheekfulls of shrubbery, fawns by their side in the latest in spotted infant wear. Alone, I would sit nude in a lawn chair or dangling my feet poolside, listening to the padding of hooves and paws curiously noting my scent.

One of the daughters left a large pink float, and I would drift along skyward with a bottle of vodka in hand, the stars pirouetting as my whimsical craft sounded a hollow gnash scraping along the cement work.

There were multitudes of animals everywhere, and I took special pains to drive slowly to avoid hurting them. But I did see one thing on my way home from a friend’s that nauseated me to the point where I could no longer stand the thought of causing an animal to suffer, and I had to stop eating meat.

I don’t want to share the hideous jarring I felt when I came upon the scene, so I’m not going to describe it. I’m just going to make a point of reminding myself, after three years of vegetarian adherence, that each piece of meat I now consume needs to be measured against the memory of those lost treasures.

Eventually I had to leave my cottage and the animals I shared the woods with. I wonder sometimes if they miss me, or just the apples I left behind.

I think that if every New Englander could see the splendor that our glass paneled monstrosities displace, we’d live more respectful, compact lives.

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I think I had a feeling like that when I was backpacking in New Mexico. I felt insignificant, yet also very special at the same time. Like I had remembered my place was organic, not man-made.

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