The Snare – Thoughts Caught and Offered Up
by Lynn R. Miller of Sisters, OR
GIVE US THIS DAY
As farmers we must continue to take charge of our own lives, work, environs and future. Our example will win out. There is no other example with the heart and capability to win out. Leadership in its most ideal form is ultimately gardening. Governance in its best form is stewardship. And husbandry is the sane substitution for bureaucracy. Our leaders should be planning and planting and suggesting seed options. Our governors should be showing us how to make rules and regulations transparent and, in the main, unrestrictive. Our bureaucrats need to be ridiculously helpful to each and every citizen that crosses their path. Every one with gainful work and every job met with enthusiasm. No one hungry. No one kept from their own life without accepted cause. And justice always coming before the rule of law. Every disease a grounds for holiday. Every child allowed to work. Every adult allowed to play. And every old age a comfort to many.
RETURN US THIS DAY
We may be out in the field thinning the carrots or raking the hay but the news and smell of these days still gets to us. Leaking out around the edges of the entertainment news focus and celebrity rhumba line, we learn every day of the rapidly expanding discontent of an enormous chunk of America. Many people have lost sight of who they are, stripped as they have been of gainful employment and positive community identification. And this loss of identity and self respect has stripped so many of our best selves down to raw bone making us susceptible to the bizarre lies and machinations of dead-hearted politicians of every party and stripe. An echo chamber of violence and horror fuels the stupidities. And we are right in wondering what is becoming of our society.
Starting at the local levels, where the very best of our society still works day by day to maintain respectful decency and social cleanliness, we need to grow our leadership class until it oozes out to the national stage. We need to restore capitalism in a return to openness, fairness and true competition. We need restoration of the humane to humanity. Good farming continues as one outstanding model forward.
WE ARE IN THESE DAYS
The world is getting larger and larger and our scope of useful, vital attention gets smaller. I am not thinking of Uruguay or Rhodesia or Denmark or Mongolia – We are farming right here in our defined microclimate and watershed at the convergence of the bottom edge of the Columbia basin with the tail feathers of the Cascade mountains and the wash of the great basin. It is our fluffed NW version of the high desert.
We don’t think about the full-time visitors to the region, the campers and ‘outdoorsmen’ in search of definable, disposable elations. We think about the neighbors who are each and every one working right this minute to add small increments of gain and decorate the inevitable pains of living here – all of us hopefully with the intent observations that reward with appreciation.
As the farming focuses intensely on the near: today’s growth of the barley and regrowth of alfalfa, the push coming with the late planted potatoes, the crazy increase in wild rabbits and gophers though the coyotes are everywhere, the behaviors of the irrigation water, the unusual gentleness of the weather, the worries over harvest and the mounting bills to pay – we live and observe right here.
Nature for our immediate region seems somewhat asleep for the time of the year, weather has been moderate and perfect. No storms in 30 days. Very few insects, two earwigs when there would have been hundreds in the past, a couple dozen flies where there have been thousands, no mosquitos though we live on the edge of a pond, even frogs have thinned. In years past, summer evenings we would sit on the porch and watch the nighthawks and bats – none now. One nesting pair of wild mallards, no Cinnamon Teals this year, no wild geese. So far only one Bald Eagle, last summer we had five distinctly different Eagles. I did see a magnificent Goshawk swooping low over the hay field a month ago. The elk are the exception, returning early and in force, over a hundred head in the irrigated ground at night, the herd swells to over three hundred.
So our biological universe shifts and us in it. We are charged with being the best soft examples of natural world citizenry. Observe, record, and take greater care with every step.
– Lynn Miller