In order to get a building permit to proceed with some work on our house, the city asked that we protect the trees in the backyard. So we built a tree-protection fence that separated the work area from the area that is treed. It is now 9 months since erected, and our work completed last week. We can now take down this wall of plywood and 2 by 4.

Backyard Wall ($)
Backyard Wall

Yet, oddly, I have become attached to the wall. It started as a means to protect the trees, but now as I stand on its work-side, I see that it protects me. It is a second-line of defence, behind the fence on the property line.

In this time of danger, in this time of the pandemic, walls have suddenly become more important. Governments have created barriers to entry into the country. Citizens are locked behind the walls of their own homes. With luck, soon there will be a medical wall โ€” a vaccine โ€” that will protect our bodies from the corona virus.

Maybe there is more: a deep-seated cultural affinity with walls, rooted in my East-German heritage. A yearning to protect ways now long gone. I feel a deep sense of nostalgia for something I never knew, but only heard of. May be with this wall I can preserve what once was. With it I can resist the tides of change. I am reminded of Canute.


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