Friday, March 23, 2007

Ignoring the Window (left over from late winter)

I have become like the many who spend their time shut up inside, staring into the infinite window of a computer screen because the view out the real window has so little to offer.

Here at this particular job, I can look at the near view of invasive species planted as shrubbery or raise my gaze to the house-raped hillsides, once the province of unbroken woods.

Expensive, impractical houses on the heights have become the new waterfront. Some of these erstwhile castle builders try to justify their foolish grab for prominent placement by saying that people lived up there a hundred years ago, so it's an established use.

Yes, people lived up there. And by choice they moved down again. And that was when people accepted a lower standard of comfort. If the horses or oxen could haul the wagon up the muddy ruts on twenty-percent grade, the road was passable. If heavy rains washed it out, the road would be laboriously rebuilt with pick and shovel. No one had to have broadband internet, perfect climate control or on-demand access to high speed roadways, regardless of the season.

Egotistical development of this sort has not yet managed to destroy the town where I live, though it has begun. Not even a good recession will save us this time, because the kind of person who wants to live up where everyone can see them has plenty of money. A recession will just bring their costs down. It will help them.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Gathering Storm (Unposted in March)

The storm wind rakes the trees already. The heavy snow will not arrive for hours, but the trees sway as the surging gusts rush over them. Standing in the woodshed I remembered how this weather used to excite me.

I came here to get away from civilization, but it has followed me. To help guide what I cannot stop, I have had to spend more time with it. Gradually the old connection grows brittle, my own woods unfamiliar as I do not visit them. Mice move into the boats, mildew gathers on the backpacks, tents and climbing gear.

The weather now just goes on outside windows. It's something to drive through, not play in or spend much time observing