Thursday, February 13, 2014

Evidence of Cataclysmic Storm Disappearing Fast!

So here in East-Metro Atlanta, everything has been shut down for another three days. This time it was icy- well- yesterday was icy. Tuesday it was just a little bit rainy but people were worried about repeating the disaster of a few weeks ago and took preemptive action, I guess.
We did get a nice thick coating of ice on everything yesterday, and then some snow to top it off and make it pretty. I enjoyed it, but didn't try to go out anywhere beyond our yard.
The snow petered out early this morning, and then the sun actually came out, the temperature rose, and snow and ice quickly melted off the trees. There is still a lot of white stuff on the ground, but it's mostly slush at this point. My chickens are huddled on their roost, trying to avoid getting their feet anywhere near this foreign substance. Funny, my New Hampshire chickens were not put off by snow unless it blocked the exit from their coop... but that's a different conversation.
Anyway, the ice and snow have been pretty disruptive over the past few weeks. Our regular routines and schedules have been interrupted, many people have been uncomfortable or inconvenienced and a few lives have been seriously impacted. But the snow melts, we make adjustments, repair damage, and get on with our lives by and large. Listening to the water dripping off the trees, clearing slush from the driveway and watching the winter wonderland quickly melt away, my thoughts wandered to things that impact us in other ways. Hearing an inspirational story, or reading some powerful message, we are lifted up, motivated to do something different in our lives. We want to strike out in a new direction or change course in some way, and sometimes we do. Sometimes we stay with it. But many times, maybe most of the time, the inspiration fades as quickly as the memory of this "catastrophic" snow storm. Our lives go back to normal, and nothing really changes.
So in some quirky way, the disruption of normal life is a reminder to me, that I want, in the words of Henry David Thoreau, to live deliberately. I was thumbing through my old copy of Walden today, and so I will end here with another selection from his writing:
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours...  If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." 
I would have ended that with an exclamation point.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

February Already?

I spent a little time in my garden this week.  I figure the asparagus will start showing up before I know it, so I pulled a few little weeds that had grown up, threw down a bit of compost, a handful of lime, and a couple of inches of leaves.

I plan to do some soil testing this year. Having decided that I want to be a little more disciplined and systematic about gardening, soil testing seems a good place to start.  Right now my garden seems like everything else in my life- sort of dead and unattractive. The rabbit(s) ate almost everything I planted this fall, only leaving the collards. I count on my collards! Every year they produce all through the winter, and in the spring they bloom with little broccoli-like flowers which are delicious sauteed with a little garlic. But even the collards are not looking very good this winter. It might just be that we've had colder than usual weather in between our warmer than usual weather, or those days of heavy rain when they were standing in three inches of water... or maybe I'll get some clues by testing the soil.

I know there is some spiritual application in all of this. Maybe I will figure it out while I'm planting my peas.