Saturday, January 9, 2021

Fences and Forests

Homesteading has given me a life outdoors, but not the life most people think of when they hear that. Most people think of the "Outdoors" as a place for hunters, hikers, explorers and camping. But those of us in gardens, landscaping, farming, hell even working road construction or surveying land are working outdoors. What I mean is a life not sitting at a desk. And in my personal situation a life with domesticated plants and animals constantly rubbing up against the edge of wilderness. 

When I started farming I saw wild animals like foxes and possums as the enemy of my efforts. Now I see them as neighbors. I look forward to coyote calls and have learned the names and calls of songbirds and raptors. I train and work with hawks. I hike and backpack more than ever before. I find myself more attracted to reading Gary Snyder than Joe Salatin and I find myself planning hikes the way I used to plan going to rock shows. The real entertainment, the real experience, is in wild places.

Which is not meant to knock farming. Farming is my life and my love. It's my wife and my dream. But to go on tiny adventures or weekends away is a larger goal of mine. To get to spend time away and bring that love of farming with me on the trail, part of what I carry in my pack. To learn to let go of my worries about the farm and its safety. To get away for more than 2 nights a year. Not vacations. Not silly wastes of money or resources. But seeing small things with friends and when the world is more open than it is now. 

Thinking about all this today. About how excited I am to go on future hikes and how much I can't wait to plan a larger garden, too. Home and Wild, what a place to find a love affair with fences and forests. 


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