Wednesday, December 10, 2008

another song about rain

After four years of drought, rain is always blessed. When it comes in the form of two warm fronts with temperatures into the sixties after we’ve been frozen to bits with lows in the teens for a week, it is even more welcome. No matter how inaccurate it might be, I love a weather forecast.

But this is also what days of rain mean to us.

Even if it rains four inches, it will takes days and maybe weeks before that makes it to the springs, if indeed even that is enough water to refresh them. So water must still be hauled. But at least we could still haul water in the rain. Wood is another story. Wet wood just doesn’t burn well. At the same time, with higher temperatures, we really don’t need as much wood, at least not to stay warm. Ah, but the end of the warm and wet spell will bring a cold spell, so we do need to tend to the needs of the parlor stove so we aren’t suffering through cold when that happens, and have enough wood for the cook stove until then.

This is how you have to think: ahead.

I have blogged before about the importance of asking yourself, “What do I want to do in this moment,” and doing that. But I also acknowledge that sometimes you’d better want now to be warm four days from now. All or nothing philosophies always, always fall down. Many times, whatever you want to do in this moment will suffice just fine (and all the more so for those of you with store boughten lives, ah but those lives can disappear in the blink of an eye, and are in fact now in the act of disappearing), but sometimes you’d better just go ahead and want to do in this moment what actually needs to be done in this moment. I am a person who believes most strongly that we always have way more choices in this life than we ever think we have, but I also know that sometimes you don’t have a choice at all -- except in how you choose to respond to it.

And so we said, you know, we need to work really hard on these things. And we did. We cut wood and split wood and stacked it in the house and in protected areas and gathered smaller wood and kindling and twigs to start the fires with. We hauled water. So what that we didn’t get the house entirely clean, and we didn’t get the Christmas tree yet, and we had canned soup for supper.

Beyond being thankful for the rain, I’m thankful that my kids know how to work, know the rest that comes to the truly weary, and that they know the rewards of producing some directly used something every day -- they help to cut the wood one afternoon and the next morning they stand by the stove getting warm; they pick blueberries in August and enjoy them with breakfast in December; they help to plow the potato patch in the spring and help to plant the potatoes and then to hill the potatoes then, now, magically dig up some earth and find caches of glorious potatoes that they then wash in the creek and that will become a french fry supper.

Life waxes and wanes. Best to be prepared for it. Much more pleasant to ask one’s self, “What do I want to be doing in this moment?” when one isn’t shivering cold from lack of dry wood.

3 comments:

Jerry Critter said...

It sounds like you live a life that gives you a lot of purpose and satisfaction.

annetteinalaska said...

What do I want to be doing in this moment?

When I first read that idea on your blog, I was really, really moved by it. But I didn't take it as I maybe was supposed to. I thought about what it would take, of me, of the decisions I make about my life, etc. to be able to truly live up to that question. To earn it.

What I mean is that I knew that to just up and take off and do exactly what I wanted to do at that very moment would cause far more suffering than satisfaction, or even pleasure. But... I was really very struck by the idea of getting to a point where what I'm doing in life IS IN LINE with the things I'd want to do. So that there'd be minimal conflict between my life and my ideal. Which is sort of what I think is part of your message in this post.

I think this question is also a good way to check yourself. If your answer to that question just WON'T fit into your life, then you may need to look at why there's such a disparity. Your answer may be so wildly impractical because there are things about yourself that you need to address. Or you may not be living the way you really want to be living. Or some such.

Either way, it's a great question that got me writing more, singing more, and doing many of those things I "needed" to do but for whatever reason hadn't allowed myself.

So... a belated thank you.

CG said...

I am so glad to hear that Annette! I mean, that really excites me!

You are exactly right that it is about being "in line". With yourself, really, and the Universe. Psychologically the term I remember for it is "cognitive dissonance" and it is sort of the opposite of that question -- when you know what you are doing is not what you believe in.