Tonight, it’s raining gently outside and the feeling of fall is sharp in the air; it’s just that much cooler, and that much darker by early evening. I have a gin and tonic at my elbow after a great dinner with family – it’s been a wonderful weekend overall, full of travel to see the Western Fair in London and a long botanical hike in the Sudden Tract in North Dumfries.
The fair made me think about living as a farmer, something I’ve always fantasized about doing. These quotes from retiring farmers remind me that I’m probably just some upstart urban kid who has no idea what they’re getting into. The long hike made me think about living the life of a hermit, another lifestyle to which I have always been romantically drawn. “Wiarton’s Hermit”, Robert Bruce, is one of my quiet idols in this regard. From the Daily Record and Mail (Toronto), March 24, 1908:
A Scotsman named Robert Bruce, who escaped being numbered amongst the Crimean veteran’s by deserting from the Scots Guards on the outbreak of war, has died at Wiarton, Ontario, where he has lived a hermit’s life for many years.
No one speaks much of Robert Bruce, but I imagine that the peace he experienced in the woods allowed him to contemplate and think a good many things about the world.
I have been divided for quite some time now over the direction of my life, but this weekend I have felt the stirrings of hope and new beginnings. I’ve happily mulled over volunteer, employment, and lifestyle (i.e. exercise) changes, though becoming a farmer or a hermit are probably not options that I’ll be waking up to tomorrow. Cold reality awaits, but for now – sentimental joy, a gin and tonic, and dreams are the fires that warm my soul.