Sense & Sensibility Off Grid


“Sanditon” is robust, unsparing, and alert to all the latest fashions in human foolishness. Illustration by Rutu Modan

It has been nearly two decades since we adopted and adapted the two words, made meaningful as a study in contrasts and complementary values by a favored novelist, to remind us of what we are out to accomplish.

In recent weeks at Chan Chich Lodge the senses have been stimulated by wildlife sightings. Meditation on and in nature seems to fix, if momentarily, everything.

Apart from those meditations our guests find time to relax in a hammock, reading. Whether on paper (we prefer its off grid feel), or even on modern devices (on which there are some clear advantages) reading is a perfect complement to the day’s action. The quiet contemplation is a perfect counterpart to the nature excursions, so we are pleased to see Jane Austen has more to say than any of us knew:

On March 18, 1817, Jane Austen stopped writing a book. We know the date because she wrote it at the end of the manuscript, in her slanting hand. She had done the same at the beginning of the manuscript, on January 27th of that year. In the seven weeks in between, she had completed eleven chapters and slightly more than nine pages of a twelfth—some twenty-three thousand five hundred words. The final sentence in the manuscript runs as follows: Continue reading