Time has a rhythm when I come back here that it lacks anywhere else.
To be fair, part of that is simply due to the fact that my life here is very streamlined; all of my ordinary activities are curtailed as I am here alone. There is no dog to walk (although I walk myself), no rabbits to clean, no cat to move about. The gym is the floor of the living room and Iai class is practiced outside my door. Meals, when eaten here, are Spartan, utilitarian, and almost inevitably the same: I am done with 10 minutes.
But even beyond those things - which are uses of time (though appropriate ones) - there is the overall sense of simply being away.
I have written of it before, but there is no traffic here, no neighbors walking themselves or their dogs, no delivery trucks making their passes through the neighborhood. My aunt or uncle may drive down from the Big House on an errand, The Cowboy will come by twice a day to water his garden and feed his cattle, neighbors may come occasional come by on walks or slow ATVs. But that is for spots of time only.
In the morning one hears the chirp of birds nearby and barking of dogs and sounding of roosters farther off. The squirrels argue with each other over things I cannot comprehend: the taste of acorns or whose trees is whose, I suppose. Occasionally the cattle will start off on a sound off or the horses in the Lower Meadow will comment. But all of this will die down in the late morning as the sun heats up and everyone sensibly retreats to the shade, to pick up their discussions in the evening.
Time just flows differently.
Even my work flows differently. Why, I cannot be sure. Is it the distance from the office, or just the realization that it some form or fashion, all of what I do is transient and this represents a reality that will be here when the job has moved on? Perhaps it is the simple feeling that somehow, I am beyond their immediate reach, although not having been into the office more than a few times in the last 18 months. I cannot imagine why I should feel that way; old habits dying hard, I suppose.
The outside world is literally what I want of it: the satellite dish was cancelled months ago and it is up to the InterWeb to provide me with as much or as little ongoing events as I desire. Did I not have both the interest and need to keep up on current events and some very fine blog writing, I could literally go weeks without having the slightest idea what was going on in the world.
The older I get, the more it surprises me that people rush to the cities and urban areas - as I did - in the hope of finding a better or more rewarding life. Perhaps we had to because or a job or a relationship, but over time this habit of being surrounded by life - not necessarily true Life, as in trees and birds and squirrels and deer and the changing of the seasons but life as defined by busyness - becomes so ingrained that it becomes habit. Most people can imagine a day or three away from the world; I wonder if most can imagine years of doing it.
I somehow think we are poorer for the change.
Bonus Round: I took a walk over the weekend on the Outer Loop, which goes around the property which my parents and my aunt and uncle own. While I was on my walk, I found this:
Yup. Appears to be a mountain lion. We have had rain in last four days, so it is recent. I know we have had a mountain lion up here; The Cowboy's son saw one years ago cutting through the Upper Meadow. Just a good reminder that Nature is - literally - all around us.
Also a coyote- He is the brown blur just under the brush there, about 30 feet away. He looked at me, moved into the brush, came back and looked again, and then carried on. We have not seen them in several years.