March 17, 2009
Creation and destruction. Today found me tearing down an old fence to put up a new one. We're extending the boundaries of the garden to include new ground, which requires new fencing. It was a bigger project than I had envisioned when I was mulling over my day at breakfast. I thought, "yeah, we'll just snip the old fence, swing it around, dig out a couple of posts, reattach it, and take lunch." Yeah. Sure. Right.
What I didn't take into account were all the trees and vines and grass that had interwoven with the netting over the years. Or all the bits of wire holding it together. Or the amount of time it would take to dig out angle iron that was sunk in over a foot of concrete. Thank goodness it'd been raining for the last two days or that clay would've exacted a more trialsome price from us for digging up the posts. I thought all we'd need were snips, shovels, and string. But we ended up with wire cutters, ratchets, lineman's pliers, ladders, gloves, and boots out there, too. Wow. All to make space for new growth. Which is why I'm writing this, anyway.
New growth. Come to find out, farming is just full of handy metaphores for life. This one takes its form in the fencing. The old fence line was handy. It served us well for quite some time. But we were outgrowing it and needed new space. To make new space, though, we had to take down the old fence line and make a new one. Oh, how like life it is. It's like an old habit you're comfy with or a belief you've settled into. It suits you well for a while. But the time comes when you want to grow, to expand yourself. So you have to move your fence line. But it ain't easy. That there fence is just entrenched in your way of being, in your life. And it's gonna take some hard work and effort to change things. You can see the new fence appearing, but you have to work to make it come about. You have to dismantle what was. And it make take a little sweating and swearing and some good friends helping out. But it's worth it. Worth it to make space for that new ground you're gonna grow into. Worth it to change. You have boundaries. You have to make new boundaries. Wow. I feel like I'm being so didactic. Ah well. My apologies if I'm banging you over the head with this. I'll try to be more concise.
I had a fence. It didn't suit me anymore. I wanted to expand beyond it. So I had to take apart part of the old fence. It wasn't an easy task. Years had grown it into place. But we prevailed. We made space. Now there is room to expand. Now we have to build a new fence.
And more interesting is the fact that we ended up taking apart more than we had initially planned. We were going to move only one side; now we will move two. It was the snowstorm that initiated the second wall relocating. Heavy snow brought down several important posts along that side. And since we hadn't planned on replacing that side, this was going to lead to more work than we had bargained for. More work is not necessarily a very welcome thing in farming life. Usually you've already got enough of it to go around already. But broken posts are a no-go for fencing. We figured since we'd have to replace them anyway, why not expand? Again, metaphors for life. Sometimes something unexpected happens. Not necessarily desirable. And it leads us to grow in ways we hadn't planned on, probably wouldn't have otherwise. And it works out well for us in the end. That's life for you. Tossing you curveballs and teaching you to bat. No creation without destruction. It's time for us to get building.