Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 3, 2015 - Good Fences

This fence is over 250 years old.  It was around before our nation was a nation.  Back then, we settlers were all English and were loyal to the crown.  This is part of the fence that surrounds the Old Harpswell Common Burying Ground and the old Meetinghouse. 

A good fence.
As fences go, it’s not half bad.  It has survived over 250 Maine winters on the coast, and that’s saying something.  Two hundred and fifty subzero winters with many feet of snow and ice . . .  It has survived torrential downpours and hurricanes.  The shifting of the Earth is its biggest challenge, and it has been jumbled a bit, but still those rocks are poised and ready to take more.  They still continue to define the old boneyard.

The ghosts are another matter.  I’m not sure how well they obey the boundary, but my feeling is that they appreciate it as a solid marker.  It defines their territory.  They come and go as they please, of course, but they notice that the living do not do the same.  Frankly, I think it’s a relief to them.  It was Robert Frost who said, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Living men put this fence together.  In those days, they were loyal to the English crown.  They had no idea that a couple of decades after they built it, they’d be taking part in a revolution to create a new country.  Many of those same men, along with their wives and children, are now buried within the confines of the very fence they built.  A man must have a solid home, after all.


  1. we have a lot of these here in the Ozarks too, though not nearly as OLD, they hold together amazingly well for the apparent haphazard way of stacking!

    1. Yes! You would think they'd fall over, but they don't! Small repairs are necessary here and there, but for the most part, they hold up amazingly well.