Gallery 4/12: Hunting stand, Bohemia, Czech Republic.

Photo by the author.

In the Irish hills of Connemara and fields of Meath, in the Vogelsberg of Germany, in the Swiss canton of Sankt Gallen, I encountered thoughts that transformed my life. Travel broadens the mind by shaking it up.

Thus, in the summer of 2015 I accepted an invitation from a friend and her family to visit a tiny village in Bohemia. They needed someone to look after their house and their dogs while on a month-long holiday. I adore the landscape of Central Europe: its high hills, its wide rivers, its walkable forests, its green and golden fields, its bounty of flowers and wildlife. I awaken each morning to the call of the neighbour’s rooster; I hear sheep and dogs no further away than the next house; and more kinds of birds than I know how to name.

This will be the perfect chance to contemplate civilization from a distance, and to contemplate its alternatives from nearby.

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