.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Good Fortune

I don't know if he still does, but in the past my friend down the road, H., the gun enthusiast, has seen me as being an unlucky person. Once he said that it seemed to him that I always get it in the neck.

I admit that, like a lot of people, I have suffered a number of bad setbacks now and then, but there have also been quite a few bright moments.

The most obvious must be that I've managed to stick around this long and do not yet need a motorized chair. Another is that I've always had sense enough to be able to spot an abysmal U.S. President when I see one, like the present pretender, and the integrity never to have voted for one, which makes me more fortunate in that respect than the great majority of my fellow Americans. And there are other things, but the one I want to talk about right now is my fuel supply.

Aside from a few small electric heaters that we rarely use, our only source of heat is a big wood-burning soapstone stove. This means that every year in the Fall I have to expend a lot of time and effort and the dwindling daylight to go out into the woods for about two months of steady wood-cutting, splitting, hauling, and stacking.

Many might look on that as dire straits right there, especially because of the risk involved, which only increases with age. This risk is in wielding a chain saw, and along with that all the highly dangerous dynamics of felling trees. That is usually necessary, despite all the dead wood still standing as well as sprawling across the forest floor, and even a small tree can do unacceptable damage. But despite my fears, I still see it all as a stroke of the rarest good fortune.

It means that I am alone in the woods for long periods when I don't have to hear or witness any nonsense except my own, because no one would ever follow me in there to inflict me with it. And those woods are more beautiful than the most celebrated cathedral or any other building anywhere on the planet. The ground is soft, the birds are singing, the colors are resplendent, the air has that fresh woodsy scent, and the shapes of everything are interesting and harmonious.

The aspect of this in which I am perhaps most fortunate of all is that I get a lot of exercise, fresh air, and well-filtered sunlight. And, unlike city people walking, jogging, and working out on Bowflexes and all those other weird exercise machines, at the end of the day, unlike them, I have something to show for it, in addition to the health aspects. I have a big beautiful stack of wood to keep us comfortably warm through the winter, even -- I hope -- if the worst aspects of a "Day After" should suddenly strike.


Post a Comment

<< Home