Rabbit passes

We walked out to the hay field to see if it was high enough for a second cutting. Probably not, but maybe.

Then we started to bag up our onions in the hoophouse.We were chatting about this and that and then Khaiti was making astonished noises. I looked over at what she had seen and behold, there was Rabbit. He seemed nonchalant, and started to close his eyes to nap. This was strange behavior. Now that he had ventured into our gardens, we thought it was time to see if I could end this stalemate

I walked out and Rabbit stayed put. I went inside the house and got my .22 long rifle, the one my grandma used to shoot squirrels with. I loaded 2 bullets and walked back out to the hoophouse and stopped at the entrance. Rabbit sat, one eye on me. I raised the gun to my shoulder and sighted down the barrel, right onto his head. Khaiti pretended nothing was going on, continuing to bag onions. I shot.

Rabbit flopped over, dead. I was stunned. We walked over and I could discern no wound. When I dressed him I found that I had shot through the rib cage into the heart, exploding it. Instant death, no bleeding because there was no heart to pump blood. I pondered.

Now he will be roasted in the crock pot with sauerkraut.

Happy Birthday

I lift a heavy, smooth stone close to my chest and set it down hard on top of another with a metallic clap.

As I weed, my fingers encounter a small rock and I fling it into the dense green grass.

The tiny pebble in my shoe under the arch of my foot has soured my mood on a sunny stroll.

Throughout these examples, I think of the stone as a single, inert object.  And a stone can stay static for many hundreds of years if left in a dry, shaded place. Exposed to the ancient elements: wind, water, fire, earth and the new elements of the periodic table, as well as all the living things, each stone begins its metamorphosis into the only thing that can grow our food: the soil. So in a way a stone is the source of our nourishment.

In the darkness of space a cloud of cosmic dust and gas collapses into a compressed ball of energy, a star. Whirling chunks of rock, dust, gas, and ice conglomerate to form planets, all spinning within the gravity of the star. Moons form to spin around the gravity of the planets. Molten magma inside our planet flows from the inner sanctum to the outer world and transforms the crust of the planet. The effects of all the elements and living things on the planet weathers this rock into sand, which is broken down into silt, and then finally clay. Clay, and humus, attracts and holds nutrients in chemical bonds and allows plants to access them. Plants can then grow, using these nutrients, water, and carbon dioxide to photosynthesize. The plant breathes out oxygen after this process, and we breath it in to fill the bellows of our lungs so that we can utilize this gas to eat these plants and use their energy. We breath out carbon dioxide. We live and grow by breathing, eating, and drinking and the plants live and grow by photosynthesis, and one main building block of our constant renewal is nitrogen which comes from the sky via the rain. Rain carries this element to the ground, and some plants, in a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, can utilize this nitrogen in order to convert it, in the photosynthetic process, into proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, the carbon-based biology they need to live and reproduce, and we use these calories to do the same. And this has all come from space dust and an invisible force called gravity. That is one way to look at it.

So when I remove a stone from the garden, I am removing the heart of the earth, the hot molten soul of our planet solidified . Sadly, my rototiller doesn’t seem to get this poetic analogy, so I remove the stones from the garden. But I still wax on as I plant, cultivate, weed, harvest, eat, compost, and do it all over again every year. Each year the only thing that seems consistently¬† the same is that everything is always changing. Gravity calls and patterns emerge and remain for a time and evolve.

These are just some of my thoughts on the eve of my 34th turn around the sun. These are thoughts that I think as I walk to the garden, sometimes while I am in the garden, but of course some of the time I am without thought, and some of the time I am sweating and swearing at the tenacious plants we call weeds. Right now I think : If time and the elements can weather the heart of the earth into the dust that nourishes our every moment of life, then maybe time and the elements can do the same to our own hearts, and we can help nourish others. If a chunk of granite can become the soil, and the soil can become a sunflower, anything is possible.


fire or water

I want to go tinier and tinier until all I can see is the microscopic particles dancing in the water.

My thoughts are thus: In this day and age in this consumer society, it’s all about bigger, faster, more powerful, more more more. What happens to time when we are in a big rush to gain everything? I think it gets ignored, and my revolutionary idea ( not new by any means) is to change the focus on getting the most, the biggest, the most powerful to being present with the least, smallest, and seemingly insignificant. Think of dinosaur to bee.

I think observing and connecting is the key to understanding the universe and myself. No small words. But this is the universe we’re talking about.

I want to go infinitesimally smaller until I reach the infinitely huge.

On the practical plane, this means to stop rushing about trying to get everything done as fast as possible. I have to stop and understand what it is that is going on all around me. I know that, with farming as an occupation, nothing will ever really get done, so how do I pace myself? I seem to waver between overworking myself and taking too much time to relax. A strange paradox. To find that in-between golden spot would be ideal. And therefore, I must hold back the impulse to rush. There is nowhere to get to, just things that need to get done. If I am here in this moment that is all there is, and I am happy.

I think we all look for that moment of melding. When we become one with whatever it is that we’re doing. When we loose ourselves, we gain the whole world.

So today, being consistently focused on the present. Being honest with oneself and others is also difficult, but without the honesty we are constantly reacting to events, causing the eternal moment to become the eternal battle.

The question is, is life a battle or is it a dance?

Ko fight with Rabbit

It is said: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

I am beginning to think that this is true. But, like a child, I have ignored this wisdom at my own peril. When I do heed these words, I tend to do a lot better in a lot of ways, and when I don’t, I inevitably falter on my path. But I do think there is a time and place to disregard conventional wisdom, otherwise how would we ever have fun?

For the past 4 days we have interspersed our work with recreation. This is because we pushed ourselves hard last week and we can feel the weariness in our bones. I hauled over 21 tons of gravel back and forth along along a 200 foot long path for perhaps 800 trips, with wheelbarrow full, and then empty. I have soreness in muscles I haven’t used for a while. We did a lot of work, and now it makes sense to relax a bit. It is hard to, though, as we still have plenty of projects to do. But don’t we always?

I think of winter as the time to catch up on cleaning and projects inside the house. It is the only way to think, otherwise I would go crazy. That leaves the entire outside realm of our small farmstead to contemplate. There are many things to do before the ground freezes.

The Rabbit hangs out near the rabbit tractor. I slowly approach with net in hand. Finally, I am between him and his fence to freedom. But now he knows this. I feint, he lunges, I keep him at bay. It is a stalemate. It is exactly like Go, the ancient Chinese boardgame. I see the pieces fall into place all around me. The problem is that I am not very good at Go. I feint again to the right of the tractor, trying to head him in the other direction and scoop him up with the net, but I am too slow and he makes his break as I hurtle out of control at him, and he knows he has won this time. He nestles back into his lapine kingdom. It is a ko fight.