Tag Archives: thinky

Building A Legacy

Today was one of those days where I got to ponder the recurring question of what it means to leave a legacy.

Currently, I am between paying positions. It leaves me available to take care of the people I care about: my mother-in-law, my elderly neighbor. I run errands. I chauffeur to medical appointments. I listen to the stories that need to be told. I soak up the experiences of the generation preceding me and I am grateful for every moment.

I see the circumstances that faced the men and women in the past century – where expanding energy and agriculture production seemed like simple answers. They lived in a time where it appeared that resources were boundless, where man’s dominion of the earth was unquestionable. They believed they were entering an age where everything was possible and the costs were neglible. It was a time full of hope and discovery. I don’t fault them one second of it. I would have probably done the same.

We do not live in such an age any longer. We see the end of oil. We see the end of soil. We see that there have been decades of decisions made that will affect generations to come and we are at a tipping point when those past-decisions will come due.

I am not afraid of what will come. Like my predecessors. I am hopeful and I am full of the joy of discovery. We have the perfect opportunity to take the best of the practices of our forefathers and marry them to the best of our contemporaries. We can build solutions to the problems we face with a blend of all that has come before. We can bear in mind what it means to be good stewards of the earth and plan for the beings that succeed us.

I do not have children of my own, nor will I ever – but there are children in my life whom I love and cherish. I see their faces. I hear them asking me (and the adults of the world who also love them) – “How did you live when you were a child?”

I made mud pies in my grandma’s back yard, Shannon.
I ate tomatoes fresh out of our garden, Meaghan.
I lived in hope for you Henrik.
I lived in love for you Elena.
I built a garden and an orchard and a barnyard full of chickens for you to play with. I danced in the rain and I read books at night by candlelight.

I did it for you. I did it all for you.

The Art of Waiting Well

In the past few months, it has sometimes felt like life is on hold – waiting for the opportunity for Tim and I to make the big break from suburbia into full-time life up on Berry Mountain.

We are waiting for him to retire, for us to win the lottery, or some miracle to descend upon us to make the conditions if not perfect, at least feasible for us to pack up and go.

While I consider myself a patient person and am more than willing to learn the lessons that come in this time of betweeness, even my patience has gotten a little ragged around the edges. I find myself suddenly realizing that days have past without any real movement towards our goal. I find that I may have puttered away weeks with non-useful activities, or even worse: self-destructive ones.

At this point in my life, I understand that there is value in these times of waiting. It is a pause before the next breathless exclamation of change. It is the long slow chug to the top of the rollercoaster descent into hyper-activity. What I can be doing – what I should be doing during this time is to assess who and where we are. Where are we physically? Where are we mentally? Where are we financially and where are we spiritually?

We can both take our physical health more seriously. Mentally we are both On The Mountain 22 hours a day and our plans develop over time and with each conversation. We are secure financially for our continued lifestyle here in the suburbs, but growing the large cache of capital it would require to build our home and our homestead is slow going. Spiritually, I can feel the need to spend more time in my zazen practice – learning to sit. be still.

There is an art form to waiting well.

It is time to practice.