TITLE: Lay a Split of Good Oak on the Andirons AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: September 03, 2018 7:24 AM DESC: ----- BODY:
There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocer, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.
The remedy for the first, according to Aldo Leopold, is to grow a garden, preferably in a place without the temptation and distraction of a grocery store. The remedy for the second is to "lay a split of good oak on the andirons" and let it warm your body "while a February blizzard tosses the trees outside". I ran across Leopold's The Sand County Almanac in the local nature center late this summer. After thumbing through the pages during a break in a day-long meeting indoors, I added it to my long list of books to read. My reading list is actually stack, so there was some hope that I might get to it soon -- and some danger that it would be buried before I did. Then an old high school friend, propagating a meme on Facebook, posted a picture of the book and wrote that it had changed his life, changed how he looked at the world. That caught my attention, so I anchored it atop my stack and checked a copy out of the university library. It now serves as a quiet read for this city boy on a dark and rainy three-day weekend. There are no February blizzards here yet, of course, but autumn storms have lingered for days. In an important sense, I'm not a "city boy", as my by big-city friends will tell me, but I've lived my life mostly sheltered from the reality growing my own food and heating my home by a wonderful and complex economy of specialized labor that benefits us all. It's good to be reminded sometimes of that good fortune, and also to luxuriate in the idea of experiencing a different kind of life, even if only for a while. -----