There are many joys out here. Of course, the people are wonderful, but I’ve already mentioned them. While wandering about the farm or driving through the countryside, I have seen deer and wild turkeys. The barn swallows are constantly swooping around the house—beautiful little birds, dark blue and peach, with long, distinctive, forked tails.
Going outside at night is remarkable. The silence reminded me how unusual it is to ever have silence even in the suburbs of a big city—not silence like this. Even the wind has quieted down. It is a deep, peaceful quiet. And with no lights nearby, the stars are unbelievable. This was not the first time I was able to see the stunning fields of stars that are so often made invisible by “light pollution” in heavily populated areas. My travels in the Australian outback had offered me views as astonishing—and yet it had been a while. I was delighted beyond measure with the great, sparkling universe made so visible by the darkness and so unobstructed by the flat land with no buildings besides the farmhouse. Just wonderful.