This particular family is a single mother with three kits, and they seem to get along famously as they go about their family business of eating, sleeping, bathing and playing. Rarely is there an argument.
I decide to walk down a tree-lined path and enjoy the sounds and smells of the friendly night, hearing a whisper of a breeze as the trees greet me. This night, like all the others, is one of gentleness and cooperation, unlike the environment two miles away where the island's bar is crowded with the same people, the same faces, ordering the same drinks and complaining about the same things.
Nature soothes me with her consistency where people do not. I watch those I encounter in the daytime when I go shopping chattering about their friends, their neighbors, the local politicians, the price of gas. They compare recipes and exchange photographs of the newest human arrivals and brag about their children's achievements. It is always the same, tedious chore to say hello, how are you. Oh really That's nice. Oh, that's too bad. Yes, we must get together very soon.
The year lolls by, and the island changes in its textures and colors. Yet the people remain the same. The news blares out its fear-mongering propaganda, which brings about an entirely new batch of old topics the next day amongst the island's activists and academics and fools. These encounters are to be avoided at all costs; why waste a precious life with such negativity and disregard for what surrounds of I have no part of it.
Am I lonely on the island Not at all. When I go to the fence to feed my horses, their welcome knickers and snuffles fill me. When I throw the hay over the fence for them, I am gratified to see them settle down after their ritual argument over which pile of hay is the best and settle down for their meal. Nothing but the sound of the birds in the trees and the contented munching of hay can be heard. The air is alive with the feeling of happiness and satisfaction. All conflicts have been settled and the serious business of enjoying a meal has begun.
After a time working on the computer, I might enjoy an online game of pool with a total stranger from anywhere in the world. This is where I learn the truth of the state of affairs anywhere. I can ask questions and get real answers. Is it really that bad Are you safe Are you afraid What do your people think of ours Talk is restricted by how many lines will fit into the window. It is efficient and silent. It is time for the 6:00 news, but I am gathering my news right now from a student in India who is wondering which college major to choose in hopes of securing a good job in the United States.
The winter settles in and I ready the trailer for the onslaught of a Nor' Easter. Those are ruthless winds, they do not care who you are or what brand of shoes you wear. The good thing is, these winds warn you and if you know how to listen, you will be advised as to how to prepare.
Wrap the pipes. Buy enough propane to fuel the heater. Put up the skirting boards to keep the floor as warm as possible. I know the routine, Nature has taught me. Plug in the stock tank heaters to keep the horses' water from freezing. Lay in extra hay for the cold weather, open the shed door so the horses can get shelter if they want it.
And now it is another night and the wind begins to blow. The trailer shudders occasionally with the impact of a gust or