Thursday, February 16, 2017

Rearranging Deck Chairs and Chopping Wood

Sometimes it feels absolutely surreal to go from the morning news to outside, around our property. With so much turmoil, how can there be such peace within nature?  Do you ever feel that way?

The spring grass is getting tall, the birds are starting to seek out nesting materials, and they're perfectly content in their lives -- quite unlike what I see when I turn on the news. Most days that feels we're all just stacking up the deck chairs at the non-sinking end of the Titanic. The band still hasn't played "Nearer My God To Thee" yet, so we still have a long ways to go, however. I just hope Jack and Rose are okay.

Living on the west coast that's actually how it feels the rest of the country is tilting and we're sitting on a little island of dryness and safety...for now, anyway. 

Of course the tilting country analogy is not really the case; there are plenty of other places in the country that feel like we do here, but after years of planning my exit from California, for once it feels good to be knee-deep amidst all the "silly" environmental regulations, generous state health care, and at times ridiculous seeming touchy-feeliness. It doesn't feel so ridiculous anymore. It's actually quite comforting to know I live in a state that embraces the voiceless, the downtrodden, and the dreamers. And the environment. Even if sometimes it's at a semi-ridiculous opposite end of the spectrum, I'd rather be here than more "red" parts of the country, let's just say that.

I don't have to worry about my representatives voicing my opinions in Congress, because as one of the most liberal areas in one of the most liberal states, I know that's going to happen. So we have that going for us. 

So what's a resistance fighter to do? Chop wood, carry water, as the Buddhist saying goes. In other words, the usual routine -- so comforting when things seem crazy elsewhere. So in light of that, I realized that I was overdue for two improvements in my home garden. One was an automatic irrigation system in the raised vegetable beds, and the other was floating row covers, so in the last week or so, Big Ag and I have been busy installing both.

Why did it take me so long to put both these things in? I guess sometimes life is like get into a rut ( also known as "a routine") you don't even realize you're in until you're out of it. Most of our industrially-focused civilization we live in is like this, all the time...we don't know how much we need something until we have it. The cell phone. The laptop. The food processor. That can cut both ways; it's always important to know how to do most things by hand, but there's nothing wrong with shortcuts if you're proficient and just need to save either time or energy.

That's certainly the case for our country as well. Those of us who have assumed the environment would always be protected, that the highest levels of government would be run in an orderly fashion, and that if our leaders did not always welcome the inquiries of the press that they would still honor them, have had a wake-up call about just how quickly all that can change. 

And so vigilance all around appears to be the call of the day. The nice thing is, at least we still have the birds, the wildlife, and nature to enjoy while we're going about our business. But no small effort of vigilance is important there, too, if we value what we currently enjoy.

So pick your metaphor. Chop wood and carry water. Move those deck chairs. Either way, stay vigilant, but also stay in touch with those things you're most invested in protecting. Those are the things that will keep you sane through times like this.


  1. I have been encouraging stuff like this to friends who feel overwhelmed by the current situation ... go about your business, turn away from 24/7 details from the news, and live YOUR life. What's done is done, and it will all shake out in the end. No sense wasting one's valuable life worrying, or fearing, what we cannot control.

    1. Exactly, Connie. Do what you can, set healthy limits, and keep on enjoying your life!

  2. I also feel better knowing I live in California, although I would have to say that a lot of people I know in this area tend to lean Right.
    What is the purpose of the row covers? Yesterday I was once again talking with someone about our harsh heat and winds that make gardening so problematic. Is the cover intended to help with wind protection?

    1. It will help with heat, and also keep the birds out of my crops and even some insects,like grasshoppers. I'm waiting for a strong wind to see how they fare before reporting success on the wind front though! But I am hopeful.