I’m thoughtful about borders and barriers this day.
Having taken up residence some 15 years ago in the north Georgia woods, I’ve come face to face – literally – with creatures and critters who lived here long before I moved in. I have been delighted to share a geographical abode with some of these, not so delighted with others.
I’m not happy about the bears. Bears in this area don’t experience deep hybernation. Rather, they “rest” and are mostly inactive during the coldest winter weeks, roaming around the woods the rest of the year, especially in the spring when seeking food. Berries, nuts and grubs are not plenteous until summer. So they roam to eat.
A number of bird feeders hang in the trees just beyond the house, and off the deck These entice the bears to drop by. In order to dissuade bears from climbing trees to access the feeders, Evan has wrapped the trees with sheets of metal. When the bears try to climb the trees, they fail.
This spring the bears decided to climb up the posts to the deck to access other bird feeders. While not actually possible to reach the feeders from the deck, they have not given up trying. A number of planters have been knocked over and broken, leaving plants askew. So now the deck posts are wrapped in metal.
After the arrival of two bears earlier today, it’s clear the wrapping length of metal on the posts needs to be extended. All these barriers are placed so as to co-exist with creatures in whose habitat I have chosen to live.
These bear barriers have me thinking about borders.
My life experiences of crossing boarders has been through travel. I’ve driven across state lines, picturing maps that show state borders with slender black map lines or blue rivers. I’ve crossed in and out of countries, experiencing customs lines and officials waving me through after short questioning of my purpose and my planned stay. I’ve flown over state and country borders, without being able to distinguish the actual borders.
I’ve even been a passenger in a rowboat crossing the Rio Grande River border between Texas and Mexico. A burro and a horse were the transportation choices upon landing on the Mexican shore. That’s a story for another time. A good one, at that.
Currently, the borders surrounding our country are experiencing huge numbers of individuals seeking entry. Seeking the bounty of opportunity and liberty we enjoy, men and women, mothers and fathers, and children clamor for entrance.
With the exception of Native Americans, everyone of us comes from immigrant ancestors who were also seeking opportunity and liberty.
On my walk this day, continuing my focus on week one of my photographic pilgrimage, I walked with hearing, seeing, feeling sensors turned up. I listened and looked, sensing images I might receive. It was to be barrier images.
Inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor…
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, temptest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp…
beside the golden door!” Emma Lazarus.
How can I help unlock the barriers of the seekers?
I begin here: