Quit at the beginning of our little walk, we found something odd hanging on the fence of one of our neighbour's gardens. It was a mink, curled up and frozen solid, yet it did not show any sign of injury. Why they had propped up the animal in the way they did I do not know, but since someone else obviously found it first, it wasn't ours to claim. Felt a bit special, though... seeing such an animal up close, while wearing the fur of one of its relatives around my neck.
It was a beautiful animal, which almost seemed to be smiling. Hard to imagine they're such fierce predators. Good for keeping the mousepopulation in check, not so good for the chickenkeepingplans I have for the future....
But my smock kept me out of the wind and thus comfortably warm. With just a t-shirt and wool sweater underneath was neither cold nor sweaty. I already love this thing!
I realised that, apart from winter and the increase in outdoorwork around the house, the main reason for me not going out much these last few months, is that I am feeling lonely and being alone in this very silent and sometimes overpowering winterlandscape magnifies that to an even more unpleasant level. I guess it is a phase many immigrants have to go through after leaving family, friends, job, language and known social structures behind, befor entering a new world. A world where people don't understand you and, more importantly, you don't understand them. Even after a while, when you start to learn the language it will not be enough for a casual social talk. Socially relaxing endevours are even more inhibited by different social habits. Making friends and meeting people with similar interests is very hard, so a strong feeling of isolation is with one each and every day.
Reading Dick Proenekke's One man's wilderness again, made me realise I could never do what he did; leave civilisation and society behind and live in solitude. When I left Holland I was more than happy to leave behind the pressure, noice and humans.... Now I find myself longing for some likeminded companionship and an occassional easy chat. There is a bright side to that, too. I have not developped such a strong disliking of human companionship as I at first thought and it shows I want to resocialise...
I have also come to develop a whole new understanding and respect for immigrants and refugees. The emotional strains and pressure they face are tremendous and it takes a lot of energy, willpower and determination to overcome that.
I did have some pleasant surprises, too.
As I was bringing up wood to the hopuse, a bright, arrowshape bird dashed overhead, across the garden, coming from one of the trees. Wings swept back, quit small body and fast. That is all I saw of it, so now I am trying to figure out what it might have been. There are 2 candidates; the first being the pilgimsfalk and the stenfalk, although previous one should not be living in this area, but much more northerly, according to my sources. The latter might, but that too would be a bit to far south.The colours and shape did match the pilgrimsfalk perfectly though. The foodsource, small birds, is plentyfull around here too, but that goes for candidate nr.2 as well. Any other possibility should have left the country in autumn......
Which ever one it was, I was quit excited to meet one here, so close by!