A Pace and a Peace I'm Comfortable With
It’s been nearly two weeks since our last trip off the mountain. My days have found routine in the equipment shed project. With settled weather and lengthening days I’m able to work for seven or eight hours a day, from the time the sun first rises over the treetops, until the pencil lines on wooden surfaces begin to fade in the diminishing evening light.
There is great peace to be found in my immediate surroundings. The snow-covered meadows and forests are so very hushed in winter. Rather than working in silence, however, I’ve chosen to bring my radio into the greenhouse each day. I begin my work while tuned to Tom Ashbrook’s "On Point." Next up, it’s "Vermont Edition", followed by "Here and Now," "The Story," "Fresh Air," and, finally, as I’m cleaning, sharpening and oiling my tools at the end of the day, I catch the first half hour of "All Things Considered."
I can’t help but note the extreme contrast between the winter peace outside my door and the stories the radio delivers from far and away. Haitian earthquake devastation, political senselessness playing out in a feeble and potentially doomed attempt at health care legislation, judicial blunders protecting the free-flow of money between corporate America and the political machine . . .
The magnitude and pace of world events often overwhelm my ability to make sense of it all, if indeed there is any sense to be made.
Here on the mountain, however, the world is at rest and the pace remains steady. Begin the day with a fire for warmth. Listen to the radio news. Coffee. Breakfast. Haul water from the stream. Step into the greenhouse and smell the freshly cut hemlock. One or two timbers per day are transformed into components of a framework that will hopefully stand at the edge of this orchard for centuries to come. It’s a pace and a peace I’m comfortable with.