Sunday, January 14, 2007

No donut, just coffee...



Its a real cold morning here in Eugene. There is a bit of snow left over from the 2" or 3" we received the other day and there has been a heavy freeze the last 2 nights. The farmer who runs his sheep on the grass fields surrounding my house lost a ewe last night. The lambs are starting to get out because the feed is slow growing this year. Every once in a while a group of lambs (what I consider the teenagers) will start chasing around and it makes me laugh because there seems to be a game going on but I'll be darned if I can figure it out. They might be giving points for who can do the the highest leap or bounce. I remember when my kids were cute and innocent... sigh...

(kidding guys, I love you just like I would if you were really mine... heh...)

I do know my morning alarm wasn't the blast of goosehunter's shotguns. Thats always a plus. I slept until 7:30 and that is rare.

Every once in a while, despite some of the troubles that currently plague me, I really have to stop and count my blessings because I really do love my life. I've been blessed with wonderful friends and a supportive family. I've seen natural beauty so profound I know I was being given a gift. My experience with nature has been the anchor that has held me fast and kept me sane. I have a relationship with the land that is based on it's recognition of me. A relationship that I cherish beyond any other.

The land ultimately is all there is for us. The earth has provided us with all that we have, it feeds us now as it did when we were tiny cellular clusters striving to adapt to an environment of basic matter and roiling energy. (Or when we first *poofed* into existence, whichever of the multiple creation stories you favor.) There once was time when we all relied only upon the natural world and each other. When European's, riding the wave of Chris Columbus' "discovery" of the "New World" (I'm not one to give him much credit, in fact I've always loved Dick Gregory's "if Columbus discovered America then I can discover your car in the parking lot. With you in it..."), began to settle this land, there was a natural bounty, an abundance of resource, that was also magnificent in its beauty, laid at their feet. And there were people. People who had lived here for millenia, who recognized that bounty and beauty and who understood the workings of nature intimately. They were not seperate from the land, but part of it. They saw it as free, unfettered by obstruction save that of rivers and mountains, seasons and weather, and lived within it's parameters. The Europeans saw the land as "wild" and something to be tamed.

And it is that flawed perspective, that absence of recognition, that ails us today. How many know what stage the moon is in? Or understand the rotations of sun and earth and how they give us the seasons, how the moon creates the ebb of tide? What is considered (incorrectly) the first world, the modern world of appliance and technology, has lost whatever sympathetic relationship it had to the natural world and in its inefficiencies and toxic spewings has come to represent the antithetical force to the laws of nature, the physics of life and its living systems.

I quote Wendell Berry again:

“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do”


The earth endures. We will not kill her, we may plunder her and abuse our place here but ultimately we only harm ourselves and steal from future generations. Better that we think more like those who were in the car in the parking lot before us. We must begin to think not just of ourselves but of generations to come. It was that thinking - and living according to the wisdom of it - that provided the natural wealth that allowed the Europeans to grow so exponentially.

Enough cud chewing by me... I have to make strawbery waffles. They are way better than donuts. Yummm...
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