A Suitable Home

Lately I’ve spent time reflecting on our search for a home of our own, after our years at Foley Mountain. Once again I am remembering the surprising difficulty of explaining to real estate agents and friends that what matters most to us is not a suitable house, but rather the land surrounding the house.

Just as other animals might, we were searching for a suitable habitat for us, one in which we might prosper. But where a biologist describing the habitat where a bird is commonly found will include details such as “commonly found in open agricultural country; also in scrub and thickets” or “nests in spruce groves”, a real estate agent, asked to find a home for a human, describes prospects mostly in terms of bathrooms and oak kitchens. Very few could comprehend a home search where natural conditions and environment were essentials. And so, my questions today are, why and how have we lost the consideration of aspects such as sense of shelter, quality of soil, diversity of fellow species, the play of sun and shade and so much more when it comes to  the choosing of a dwelling place? How can it be that these essentials no longer are talking points?

About Peri McQuay

Peri Phillips McQuay is the author of Singing Meadow: The Adventure of Creating a Country Home, The View From Foley Mountain, a book of nature meditations on her experiences living for 30 years at the Foley Mountain Conservation Area and A Wing in the Door: Life With a Red-tailed Hawk is the story of her adventures with Merak, a human-imprinted hawk, who lived free but saw McQuay and her family as her special people. Also Peri has written numerous essays, articles, book reviews and a weekly column, published in the Kingston Whig-Standard Magazine. Her credits include Country Journal, Harrowsmith, Bird Watcher’s Digest, The Snowy Egret, Seasons, The Fiddlehead, Herizons and Brick.
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