We don’t live at the top of the mountain; we live in the middle of it. During thunderstorms, it’s like being perched in the middle of a waterfall as the rain and runoff course down the hill and around our house to the river 300 ft below us. Lately, though, it’s kind of been like living on a mountain top.
The bridge at one end of our road that’s closest to the closest major town (Arlington, VT, pop 2397) is closed for repair for a long while. Now we take the long way to get most places. The long way takes us further into our town center – complete with town hall and school house turned summer art gallery before we can turn down the main road heading to civilization. It’s been a bit of a pain, but it’s also been an unexpected pleasure.
Running north and south through a town with a population of 353 (including the part time residents), our dirt road was never congested. When people wanted a change of scene from the main road that runs parallel with it, however, they made a small detour and took ours. Now, with one end blocked, our road has become a mile long cul-de-sac, and our yard, 900 ft off of that cul-de-sac has become as quiet as the nearby monastery.
The quiet is peace. The distance makes us mindful. A ten minute run to the country store has turned into twenty minutes, and every errand is now considered carefully. As we did when we first decided to live off the grid, we are now learning to decide how to make more out of the limited resource of our time when we go out. And we are being reminded, once again, to decide if we really need that extra purchase badly enough to go out at all.