Brightside Acres
West Virginia Wildgrown®

Carpe Diem

Sep 19, 2009

Anyone following events at Brightside knows that life here has taken an unexpected turn.

As a person who lives in close connection to the fruits of Nature, I have learned to expect the unexpected where Nature is concerned--if not to accept her whims entirely without complaint.

Likewise motherhood has taught me that while there are some things a mother can control in the life of her child early on, these things grow ever fewer as the years pass. This process is not cause for sorrow, anymore than the browning of pumpkin vines and the reddening of Maple leaves is cause for sorrow. It is a necessary dying to the past so that entirely new fruit can emerge.

Over the years, as I've worked in the garden, pruned apple trees, picked berries, seeded old logging roads, and cleared fields, I've come to realize that life isn't about what one gets "in the end."

Life isn't about the results of one's efforts. Life is about the quality of one's efforts.

It seems that every time I forget this and let myself get caught up in what I think is going to happen next, instead of focusing on what is happening now, Nature has a way of reminding me real quick. I think of Cher slapping Nicholas Cage in Moonstruck and shouting, "Snap out of it!"

Despite all my carefully developed plans and well-nurtured expectations, the killer freeze comes on May 17. It rains too much before it rains too little. The sun refuses to shine for 16 straight days in July.

It may seem a rather obvious point for someone in her 5th decade to realize: Uh, by the way, Dawn, you can't control the weather.

But isn't this what I do whenever I ground my efforts in expectation of certain results, particular pay-offs? When I focus on ends far beyond my power instead of on means I can hold in my hands? When I forget that only my thoughts and my actions are within my command, not how others receive me? When I allow thoughts of "what happens next" to become more important that "what IS happening now"? When I dwell on some notion of tomorrow that will make today's efforts "worth it"?

When I do any of these things what I'm doing, essentially, is thinking I control the weather.

So. The wind turbines. One hell of a god-awful storm, and kicked-up seemingly out of nowhere.

I would be lying if I said that there haven't been dark moments over these past two months when I thought all the disruption of daily life caused by my no-holds-barred, no-stone-left-unturned efforts to assemble the facts and educate others and seek redress of grievances from our government "simply wasn't worth it." The odds of having a real impact on this particular industrial wind utility in my particular and beloved neighborhood were so slim, I told myself, as to be virtually nonexistent. There's no way "Big Wind" is going to reach a compromise with me, I told myself in the 3 am gloom. There's no way they'll recognize the validity of The People's concerns, let alone take real action to address and minimize them. Dawn, I asked myself in the mirror after many a sleepless night: What do you think you're doing?

And I didn't have the answer until this week: I am seizing the day.

I am giving each day everything I've got because, whether or not the crop succeeds, it's in my nature to till the earth and sow the seeds.

It's what I do.

As to the results of my labors, well, I won't know until the harvest.