Roughing It

Low flow on the river in the fall.
Low flow on the river in the fall.

Roughing It

I’ve got a great life.

My job could be a bit more busy; offering me more creative input and challenging projects. The fact that my boss is up for a aortic-valve replacement this week (I wish her the best) will make my days at the office fuller.

Our new home never ceases to amaze me; there is a Sanskrit word which perfectly summarizes the place: sattva, a word which means pure. The brook which runs by our house is not your usual brook; I like to call it a river; it’s not really a river, but you always hear the water rushing by; following a heavy rainfall, the noise of the water over the giant rocks (one we call the ‘whale’, a large, wide boulder which we look at to see how high the water level is) is enough to drown out all other sounds in the house if we open the windows.

The river cools the whole ecosystem, but when it does get very hot and humid, the house itself remains stubbornly cool within; there’s a natural air conditioning effect which continually surprises us. All in all, since moving in at the end of December, the honeymoon period shows no sign of abating.

Ironically, I find my alone time in the house much more difficult. It’s like being alone at a monastery. At a monastery, a balance exists between silence and activity that is created between the sattvic environment and the less silent activity conducted on behalf of the people who live there. Likewise, the energy in the house changes dramatically when I spend them with Naomi or when I’m here alone.

One problem that we’ve been having lately comes with the arrival of spring and the emergence of leaves on the trees: our Internet signal is compromised.

We’ve already signed up with Bell for at least two years, but we did that in the winter when we could get a signal. We knew that there was a problem with the cell phone reception when we purchased the property but we believed that it had been corrected at the tower down the road. Wrong: it’s the tree leaves, stupid.

Also, a phenomenon which is common in the country: there’s no television satellite signal when it’s stormy outside.

So the other night, with the rain pouring down, we had a double whammy: no Internet signal, no television signal: a very mild modern-day occurrence of “roughing it”.

I do say this tongue-in-cheek. Fortunately, we do not lose these signals for long periods. Like so many people today, Naomi and I are fairly dependent on the Internet for information, recreation and for keeping in touch with friends and family (and the odd blog or two). We don’t watch much TV, but the other night I did want to catch a little of the Hawks-Lightning Stanley Cup Final (err, I was off by a night, BTW). Naomi and I prefer to watch our Netflix movie on the new flat-screen TV, but of course that was out.

No, we have a good life, but as my mother used to say (and everyone else for that matter): Nothing is perfect.

Even we lucky ones have to “rough it” from time to time.

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