Sunday, 26 August 2007

Maddening but Magical

Now, don't get the impression that this two and a half acres is heaven on earth. I hated it when we first moved here. It's on a north-facing hillside, it's surrounded by stands of tall forestry plantation; the soil is hard to work; we only moved here because we were moving to the area in a hurry and couldn't find anything in town that we liked. Yet, even on the day we moved in, when we were clapping our collective hands to our foreheads and saying "What have we done?" the magic of the place began to work on us. There's a public footpath that runs along the back of the property and, taking a break from the work, we wandered up the path for a while. It was a hot August afternoon. Whenever we placed our feet on the path, clouds of fritillary butterflies rose from the path before us. Coming from the town, we'd never seen so much nature all at once. It was breathtaking. The scent of the gorse and the pine and the sight of those butterflies on the hot air have stayed with me ever since and have got me through some of the tougher times in this maddening but magical place.

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