In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Windy garden

Here's the vegetable garden earlier this week. You can see strips from an old sheet tied to to the top of the garden fence. The wind is lifting them up, giving the empty garden a certain liveliness.

It was my original intention to help the deer see the deer fence by letting the strips of cloth wave around in front of them. Last summer the deer were sometimes in too much of a hurry or feeling too exuberant to notice the fence. Which after all is nothing but an old fish net attached to spruce poles. The wind blows through that net just the way water used to flow through it. It's not a brick wall. I'm sure the deer would have noticed a brick wall. So they ran right through it several times, in one side and out the other, never even stopping to sample the turnips or peas.

I would come out in the morning and find an entrance hole and an exit hole, one on each side of the garden. Then I'd get the twine or whatever and mend the holes. Now the fish net has a lovely patched quality -- much better than before. Greg hung old Styrofoam buoys in front of the net. The buoys don't wiggle and wave, though. So we thought motion would help, and I tied up the strips of cloth.

We need these strips of cloth because the deer see the world very differently than we do. To us, that's our garden there, and it has a gate and a fence and please don't come in unless you are invited. To them it's the place they have always bounded through on their way from the apple orchard to the forest.

I hung up the cloth strips to remind the deer about the fence. But they have become a reminder for me, too -- about how much otherness the world holds in its large embrace. When the wind lifts them up they are like prayer flags, visible signs of a compassion that no fence can stop, that flows right on through and touches everything, everybody, everywhere.

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