In my neighborhood, when a house sells, it is often scraped and a McMansion goes up in its place. We have a fake Tara nearby which could not look more out of place, but yesterday we visited an Open House, a "cottage" built in the 1920's when this was all grassland. It must have stood alone. It has a beautiful winding walk to the front door, and porches for benches, and teeny-tiny bedrooms and closets, and the most wonderful feel. I hope whoever buys it keeps it as it is because it is a house with character and history and feels well-loved and placed.
I haven't heard any firecrackers this year, only the voices of children, and one puppy who is not yet used to his new home. His cries echo through the valley. I think tonight of celebrating like Edward Abbey. I'll light a juniper scented candle since it is not the time for a fire, and it is also not the time of the full moon, but the deer are here, the crickets, and perhaps, an owl.
Edward Abbey from Desert Solitaire:
I was sitting out back on my 33,000-acre terrace, shoeless and shirtless, scratching my toes in the sand and sipping on a tall iced drink, watching the flow of evening over the desert. Prime time: the sun very low in the west, the birds coming back to life, the shadows rolling for miles over rock and sand to the very base of the brilliant mountains. I had a small fire going near the table — not for heat or light but for the fragrance of the juniper and the ritual appeal of the clear flames. For symbolic reasons. For ceremony. When I heard a faint sound over my shoulder I looked and saw a file of deer watching from fifty yards away, three does and a velvet-horned buck, all dark against the sundown sky. They began to move. I whistled and they stopped again, staring at me. “Come on over,” I said, “have a drink.” They declined, moving off with casual, unhurried grace, quiet as phantoms, and disappeared beyond the rise. Smiling, thoroughly at peace, I turned back to my drink, the little fire, the subtle transformations of the immense landscape before me. On the program: rise of the full moon.