The anti-Dubai (or things I'm thankful for)
I unloaded two trailer loads of cut wood yesterday. In the morning, a huge flocks of geese passed right overhead. One flock was so large it looked like a small black cloud. I leaned back on the trailer to take in their flight. The multiple V-formations had a pattern inside it. Large goose, little goose, large goose, little goose. Parent/child/parent/child. At the end of the flock the very last goose had a section of his wing missing-- I could see the sunlight through where there should have been wing feathers. And yet- they stayed together- maybe a Grandparent pulling up the rear.
Last night the boys (all of 5-years-old) and I unloaded another load of wood while the sunset and the combines, unseen, rumbled to the north and west and all around. The stars came out ("star light star bright first star I see tonight...") and the moon had a large halo around it nearly touching our silos.
We're in the midst of clearing out our old grove (about 3 acres!) in anticipation of a major tree planting next spring. The bulldozer was in last week to pull up the stumps and our farmstead looks like a tornado passed through. What's exciting is that we're hopeful we have enough wood for the next 3 winters already cut. It's like money in the bank to see the stacked wood piles- strategically placed to cure or to burn.
Two years ago I was talking with my neighbor Brent wondering what we would do with all the standing dead wood on our farm. He said "get a Central Boiler" and we did. It's turned out to be a great move. Instead of letting the dead wood rot in place (emitting CO2) or burning it in a massive pile, we are metering it out to heat our house and water year around. We haven't purchased any propane since we installed the boiler two years ago.
It's the anti-Dubai.
Two years ago when I heard National Public Radio do an uncritical and fawning hour of "financial reporting" on Dubai I was sickened. Couldn't everyone see that this was the most unsustainable, ill-fated project of our times? I mean really- we need artificial luxury islands, indoors ski-slope in the desert, and unlimited high end shopping? All built and sustained on fossil fuel supplies and profits. And now bankrupt. Surprise.
Instead, I'm grateful for stacked wood, my family (mom helped out all Thanksgiving week and sister Kelley left her dairy farm in SE Minn to visit us), for a nice community and singing in the church choir, and the opportunity to be completely content. 'Tis a gift to be simple and, frankly, a lot safer.