Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The air smelled of snow

Summit lake, in the middle of the alaska range, in early september:

We drove out to the cabin at Summit lake this past weekend, the drive was gorgeous.  I remembered to take a few pictures, though the overcast sky on the way out did not make for the best photo-light.  On the way back, the light was perfect, but I was too mesmerized by the patchwork colors of bracken and moss and lichen and muskeg and cranberries and blueberries and spruce and willow that covered the mountainsides like a quilt, to actually get out the camera.

off of the back porch

out the window

the glacier

the lake.

I was a little hesitant about going, it was a kinda last minute plan, and I cancelled plans for indulgent ladies nights and yoga classes in order to go.  But every time I get out to Summit, in the heart of the mountains, I know that the drive, and the time, is so well worth it.

This time we went out to help my in-laws with their winter woodstacking.  My father-in-law suffered a pretty serious spinal injury last year, and while he's doing well, it does limit his mobility.  The constant bending and twisting that is necessary to stack 8 cords of wood would do him far more harm than good.  So the darlin' man and I went out and stacked it for them.  They helped, with a supply chain from pile to porch, but we did the hard work.  It felt nice, being out in the air, with a light wind and the smell of coming snow (it didn't), working up an honest sweat.  Darlin' man was impressed with my woodstacking - I was busy with indoor chores while he split and stacked the entirety of our 8 cords :-)
And then we ate amazing food.

But the thing that really made me grateful, upon reflection driving home, for both the opportunity, the choice I made, and my ability to do the work with a heart containing love and seva; was that I got to walk my talk.  I think about, and believe in, and talk about in-the-abstract-with-intentions-for-the-future the concept of family as a community - the generational interdependence that is increasing lost to our society.  Young ones and old ones sharing joy and widsom, watching eachother, and contributing as they can, while the adults in the middle, both parents and children, are the bread winners and bread bakers, the caretakers who allow them all to thrive.  This vision recognizes the debt (though I wouldn't use that word for it) of adult children to care for their parents as their parents birthed and cared for them.  It is a vision of our society without very many nursing homes.  Where the wisdom and accumulated knowledge and more sedentary crafts of our elders are as valued as the fleeting exuberance of playing children; where both are as valued as the hard work that sustains life in our bodies.  
I believe in this vision, and I have always intended to live it; but it has always been in the future for me.  I'm learning to recognize that when the future becomes the present, it is time to live it.  And if that means stacking the firewood at Summit as well as our own, then that's the walk I get to walk.  (My sister stacked my mother's wood this year :-) 

1 comment:

  1. That is beautiful Jasmine. I remember that gradual dawning of responsibility (wrong word too) when i realised that I was holding that torch.
    Love and blessings