There is an old logging road that I look at while drinking my morning cup of coffee. For the past two years the tangle of bushes, vines and brush made it difficult to pass through into the woods. So, a month ago I asked lawn magician Gilberto to take his clippers and weed eater into the woods and clean up the old path. In no time a new vista opened. Now as I sit and write I see morning light streaming through the trees, falling on a leaf strewn earth. The path curves to the right and out of sight. This small bit of beauty astounds me. It makes me grateful on a daily basis. If I pray then this is my church and this gratitude my prayer.
I have reached a crossroads though. All this beauty comes with a price tag. My town appreciates my woods too. They assess that these woods have value to them as well as to me. I have watched my taxes go up each year even while living modestly. While I agree with the assessor that these woods are dear I am not sure what to do with a bill that annually creeps higher and higher.
Will my logging road view go the way of my Brooklyn Heights view of the East River and Staten Island Ferry – too rich for my blood?
Being practical as well as sentimental I am taking steps to aid my decision making. Over the summer a survey was conducted (it is now officially 8.03 not 7.55 acres) and the wetlands “flagged”. I have come to an agreement with my neighbor on what exactly is our property line. And it seems I could subdivide. Selling it off piecemeal is tough to imagine. If being practical was my only goal this would be easy ; but the deer and turkey lover in me thinks it all more complicated. The two will spend the fall wrestling each other.
Watching winter creep into these woods isn’t going to make the decision any easier…