I've written quite a bit about the quandary my wife and I have -- or will have one day -- about leaving our house on ten non-easy-care acres in rural south Salem, Oregon.
Age wise, we're in our late sixties. Which also happens to be the decade we were in college, the '60s. So, yeah, we're flower child, ex-hippie baby boomers.
We're somewhat worried about eventually being socially isolated out here in the semi-boonies, about six miles from the Salem city limits.
What if one or both of us can't drive? What if one or both of us can't handle the stairs in our multi-level house, or isn't able to walk on the dirt paths and sidewalkless streets in our neighborhood?
Well, I remember a Rumi poem that says something like, "My friend, one cannot build a dwelling out of if." Meaning (if it is possible to attribute a definite meaning to Rumi), reality is something different from what might be.
Right now we love our property. Certainly we'd like to be closer to more human friends. But moving into town, or into a retirement community, doesn't draw us at the moment.
One reason is the friends nature provides for us. Laurel and I are far from being animists. Still, the trees, flowers, water, and other manifestations of Mother Nature we meet up with every day on our walks mean a lot to us.
Recently some Oregon sun came out after a spring rain. I took some iPhone photos on a morning walk with our dog, ZuZu.
Nearby, there's a tree I call "Tusker." It's got a long bare limb that sticks out near head height. So far, Tusker has been kind to me. I'm pretty sure the tree is friendly. The tusk must just be for show, maybe to impress the ladies.
The trail that leads to the community lake is on an easement through our property, so it's more heavily traveled. Mostly by us. We rarely encounter other people. Nature, though, always says "Hello" wordlessly.
On the way to the dog Stick Play Area, where ZuZu likes to play "Throw the stick, then I'll pick it up and run away from you, instead of bringing it to you," we walk through a field of something with purple flowers. (I'm vague about vegetation names.) A brown dog butt shows ZuZu leading the way.
Returning back to our house from the dog walk, our human-made pond area has its own natural charm. Laurel, my wife, has done a great job with plantings here. A bubbler and waterfall add motion and sound to the scenery.
This is my little Taoist/Zen area by our driveway. The Oregon Grape are flowering yellowishly right now. The twin fir trees were just babies, by comparison, when we moved in back in 1990.
I hope we'll remain in our home long enough to see the firs grow much larger. Regardless, they're part of the friends we've made with nature who won't be forgotten.
Especially since I now have this blog post to muse over if, Tao forbid, I'm ever sitting in a rocking chair at a retirement home.