poetry and prose about place

 a stone wall

with 6 comments

a stone wall

On one of our countryside drives, I watch for this stone wall. Built with care, it serves so many purposes. It provides boundaries for a property and a home. It keeps people out. Perhaps it keeps children safe, away from the highway. It adds beauty to the property, curb appeal. It reminds us of our history.


Most of all, I like stone fences for their value as metaphor. In life, fences can represent so many experiences, circumstances and challenges – imprisonment, protection, change.


Fences are barriers, keeping one space separate from another. They are also boundaries, transitional, liminal. Just climb over. The fence is a way to transition from outside to inside, from vulnerability to safety. Perhaps a little way along, there will be a gate. Perhaps the fence – a stone fence in particular – is permeable. There are spaces between those solid, expertly-positioned stones. Spaces for insects, water, wind or sound to cross over.


Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

September 7, 2016 at 7:00 am

6 Responses

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  1. That stone wall looks higher than most of the ones I see around here. I love looking at stone wall when we are out driving, no two are the same… I’ve been told that in New England most stone walls were a convenient way to use all the stones dug out of the field they surround. Some call the stones New England Potatoes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Barbara Rodgers

    September 7, 2016 at 10:14 am

    • A version of making lemonade from lemons! I think the wall is quite high, too high to climb over at this point!


      jane tims

      September 8, 2016 at 12:29 pm

  2. Beautiful stone walls in Britain where frost doesn’t heave and knock them down. Here at home, the frost pushes rocks up to the surface and the farmer has to remove them from his fields each spring. A never ending supply of building material if you want to build from rocks!

    Liked by 1 person

    Karen Hine

    September 7, 2016 at 10:09 am

    • A couple of years ago I went on a virtual trip through Cornwall using my stationary bike and Street View and was amazed at the stone walls everywhere. Climate certainly influences the built landscape.


      jane tims

      September 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm

  3. Fence, from 700 years ago! apparently. The “action of defending” –‘defens’. Word, metaphor, barrier, delineator. Sitting on the fence. Ain’t english grand? ( ; Thanks, Jane.

    Liked by 1 person


    September 7, 2016 at 9:28 am

    • Hi Alison. Yes, words are so pumped full of meaning. I like anything that defines space or suggests movement across a boundary. Thanks for the definitions! Jane


      jane tims

      September 7, 2016 at 9:51 am

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