I’ve been thinking about fences lately. Why? Well, the camp built one behind our trailer and its caused me to ponder the purpose of good fences.

First, they give you privacy. No one can see through a fence, unless it is a lattice fence, like the one they put up behind our trailer. But to see through you’d have to go up to the fence and peer through the lattice work to actually see. That would be rude, wouldn’t it? Would anyone in their right mind, other than Gladys Kravitz, do something like that?

Second, fences keep people out, although someone could climb over. That would be awkward though and most people, aside from unruly 11 year old boys, respect them.

Third, they keep things in. If you have a dog a fence is a good idea because, unless the dog is a tireless digger, they’ll stay in a fenced yard.

I finished at three. I don’t want there to be too many more reasons than that to like fences. I like openness and vulnerability, it appeals to me as a quality. Except that after a while a life without fences can become difficult to manage. If anyone can see in, come in and anything can leave… well, let’s just say that kind of life quickly becomes one of constant activity and can spiral down into chaos.

And while fences have their uses – I like the lattice kind. You can see a bit through it, but not completely. It’s a fence that is kind of inviting.

It says, come and see if I’m home – but don’t bombard me with your presence.
It says, come and knock and let me invite you in.
It says, I’m open to visiting with you, but with limitations.

Sometimes, we need fences like this in our lives. Our work can crowd our lives and worm its way into our home life. Friends can barge in without an invitation and intrude into time that we need to reserve for recharging or feeding our souls. Even family can make demands on us that can seem reasonable but drain us of our energy.

They say fences make good neighbours.

I think they help people stay healthy as well.

And so I think I'll spend some time building some fences... lattice ones, I think.

grace... Kathie


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