My rented home in Republic offers joys that city living never could. Sky, for one; big, dramatic and expressive. Then there are the birds. I wake to find them perched on the big stones in the backyard, gathering back their own warmth. Last week, and again late last night, two owls have perched nearby; they hoot to one another, a sound that’s enough to keep me awake and listening for as long as it lasts. And last night, a possum under the new bird feeder I’ve set up near the dining room window for kitty viewing convenience. He was a little guy, the possum, with that squinty, peevish, slightly disconnected look that possums have. Whether it was the seeds he was looking for, or some bugs that the seeds attract, he’s welcome there – holes in the lawn notwithstanding. He gets the seeds, the cats get to remember their ancient selves, and I get the joy of knowing that the rural suburbs haven’t quite managed to tame Nature. Sounds like a win-win-win to me.