I’ve been mucking barn stalls for the last couple of days.
An hour or two a day for two or three days about gets it done.
Sheep, goats, and chickens we have now.
Not as waste-producing as cows or horses.
I was about to say more manageable, too,
but that ain’t true.
I generally don’t mind the work and
find it uniquely satisfying. I love the physicality of it.
The pitch-forking into the barrow, wheeling it to the compost heap.
The absolute earthiness of it, the sharp freshness of the smell.
The very essence of life.
The clean energy it offers our garden and pasture.
The humbling it brings to my muscles and mind.
I take a break and think about fracking.
Industrial mucking, of a sort.
You know, the gouging of the earth.
The use of millions of gallons of water.
Untold toxic chemicals pumped into the ground.
The forever question of what to do with the waste.
Documented dangers and hazards.
Like poisoning peoples’ water supplies.
Releasing carcinogens into the air.
Noise and light and traffic where once there was none.
And for what? Money, of course. But jobs, they also say, as if to appease.
Oh, and energy, power - we’ve got to have that.
These politicians and technocrats do whatever they want.
Now saying they can come onto your land and
build roads and drill, without asking.
Can just show up at your front door and do it.
They ain’t looking out for you and me.
Makes me so mad I could spit.
And go back to my mucking.
It's far cleaner work.
On my walk a short time ago. We’ve had a rain in the last few hours and the air smells of it – sharp, cleansed. Stopped to make a photograph of the creek near John Payne’s old house, I notice it at my feet - a dead box turtle. We see them more often after rains, as if the moisture urges them out of their shells. It’s not smelling yet, but its shell is multi-cracked, its legs outstretched in a stilled movement forward. Flies have discovered it for the feast it is. Clearly a victim of a car or a truck although it’s far out of the road’s tire tracks and likely killed with some intentionality.
I have with frequency watched people go out of their way to hit animals. In the case of snakes I’ve seen people run over them, and then back up to make sure they did the job, twisting the car’s wheels to be certain of opening the snake’s skin.
I don’t understand this need within man – the need for domination and dominion over the world and its creatures. Rather than accepting ourselves as part of the world’s fabric, man, and man alone among the world’s beings, believes the world revolves around him, to do as he pleases, to abuse at his discretion. And most people seem to believe mankind’s domination over the world is part of God’s will; that we have been granted the ability to destroy that same God’s creation. It makes me fearful of man, and his logic; and very fearful for mankind. Today, I would just like people to move slowly, like the creek, and stop running over turtles.