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As though it was here all along…

It’s pretty pretentious to give your house a name. But what the heck. The name suits the place. And I’m guilty of worse than pretense. I’m also guilty of magical thinking. I often have the impression that Acorn Abbey existed in some form before I built it. It wanted to be built. It demanded to be built. I’m just the poor fool who had to do the work, and pay for it all.

Not only that, it’s still in a state of becoming. After the building, there remained backbreaking work to be done to make it lush and covered with exuberant growth. I’m too old for most of that work, so Acorn Abbey ensnared poor Ken to toil and till and plant. This is only year three. Many more years of planting and growth will be needed to make the place look the way it wants to look — so covered with growth and tangle that it seems that the woods are about to take it back, a little spot of human habitat wedged in against the habitat of a thousand other kinds of things: green things, feathered things, furry things.

The sign is new. Ken and I put it up today. The sign was made on a very cool computer-driven machine in Mayodan. You set up the sign in the computer, and a computer-controlled machine does the engraving. The font, by the way, is one of my favorites, among the most monkish of fonts — Goudy Old Style.

…For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue.—And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth…

— From Tintern Abbey, by William Wordsworth

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