Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nature's providence

Thought I'd get a job I'd been interviewing for. Found out today that this is just another job, in a series of jobs, that is strangely beyond my grasp.

But on to nature's providence.

First, I'm listening to Promontory off the soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans. 

I hope there are moments where you can stop and breathe quietly, taking in the world and its magnificence. If you find yourself wondering what I mean, try this:

*Step outside. Yes, you can do this now.
*No matter where you are standing, you should be able to look up and see the sky.
*What is between you and that vast swath of multi-layered gases up there? Can you feel any wind? Do you know how that wind is made? Do you understand the complexity of the air you are breathing, the interplay between the sun's heat, gravity and the atmosphere and our planet's gravity?
*If you can feel wind, think about skin. The sensations you can feel: smooth, cold, soft, rough, dry, wet, and so on.
*What do you hear? Cars? Birds? Wind murmuring through leaves?
*Atmosphere, wind, skin, gravity, heat. Waves of light, sound, and sensation. The marvelous complexity of a single moment.
*Not such a simple moment anymore.

This is creation: the organization of potential into the knowledge of a moment and a place.

Your garden, lawn and other areas of your stewardship provide opportunities for creation.

Today, I wanted to write a bit about chickens and another area where our labors provide for us.

Here are some chickens:

We have seven chickens. Annemarie, my wife, could tell you what type they are; she provides the majority of their care. I'll spend more time another day discussing what has gone into the getting and raising of these hens, but today I'll just say that they have a good life and we get from three to six eggs a day from them. We have learned a lot from them and they will probably pay for themselves in another six months.

There is something that feels more complete inside when you watch your kids interacting with chickens as the chickens eat pests and weeds. There is something miraculous about a little girl who has a terrible phobia of animals who, when her family raises four chickens from chick to hen, completely and naturally overcomes that phobia. In my heart, these chickens have paid for themselves because my daughter plays with them, cats, dogs and recently had a pet earthworm.

I had an assistant this morning with the chickens. He put on his rubber boots before heading out to the messy coop:

At the coop, he went right to the laying boxes and poked through all of them:

He found one:

I love my assistant.

Nature provides so much, if we open our lives to it. There is work, much of it repetitive and mundane, but in the very banality of that work are the moments of connection. Connection to creation, to firmament and to life.

Last year we planted two very young fruit trees.

Here is the peach tree:

The cage around it is a tomato cage surrounded by chicken wire. I put this on because in fall of last year, we had deer essentially stripping it down past its bark. I wanted my tree to live, so this has been its protection. It's looking good. The cage will come off soon.

Here's the pear tree:
It's smaller, but it's doing well so far.

We also have a raspberry bush, still quite young but doing well:

All three fruitful trees/bushes set us back less than fifty bucks total. The fruit, work and connections they will provide are worth far more than that half-benjamin.

It's a great time to put in a fruit tree or bush. I'll discuss how that can be done tomorrow. There is a particular art to it.

My friends, I hope your day is filled with moments of peace and happiness. I also hope you will pass this site along to your friends, family and enemies. If you're enjoying it, so will they.

Until tomorrow.

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