1st entry – harrow 2012

The sentinels line the drive; stand guard against the invading maize. In Tuscany they would claim cypress heritage, but here in Harrow they pledge allegiance to the arborvitae. The setting sun exaggerates their height. And these giants bar the stalks that march in goose-step through the land-grant fields, from reaching the driveway, from reaching the house.

They’re the markers I look for when I scan the horizon while driving north on Erie Road. They’re the beacons in a sea of corn. They tell me I’ve reached land – Lynn-and-Rainer’s farm.

It’s odd to write about Harrow, Ontario and reference Tuscany. But the beauty I associate with that Renaissance state is mirrored in this languid landscape, in this new world of Upper Canada, in these tall sentinels that border Lynn-and-Rainer’s farm. In Tuscany the rolling hills provide the privacy and the cypress the boundaries, in Harrow the genetically modified corn wraps the property in its green arms keeping out the rest.

Bet the British never thought that some old Italian immigrant would compare the land-grant fields they doled out to the land of Botticelli. Bet those early settlers never thought that the daughter of Portuguese itinerants would own their manor homestead. Bet those early Canadians never pictured a bunch of immigrants – German, Portuguese and Italian – sitting on the porch talking and talking into the night and never thinking about working the fields.