In Tuscany, in particular, a fence is a record of invasions by wild boar and porcupines, and of the gardener's intervention. I cannot say how old the fence around my orto (vegetable garden) is, but I can say it is an archive. It is not beautiful. It is rusty and snaggly and patched together with bailing wire. And now, with the first seeds of spring sown, it needs to be replaced, or patched once again. I have chosen to patch it. Patch it where the wild things have burrowed through. Patch it where the diesel dinosaur of the excavator ripped through it to lay our utility lines at the start of construction.
Again I find myself patching, repairing, healing what is crippled, broken, old, abandoned, but not yet dead or useless or done. Like the property itself. Like the old men a women seen doddering up and down the roads here after mealtime.
My initial instinct was to rip out the old fencing and crooked fence posts and replace it with a shiny straight new fence. And I suspect that I eventually will. But not this year. What is left of this old fence, the few places left where it is still intact, is also a record of where the animals have not gotten in. Yet.