070512 – Saturday – Deep into Spring

Listening to Amethystium…

I like to write a personal piece every once in a while. Behind the news stories I gather and post about a world coming into crises, there’s a real life I’m living here. Bills, work, pains, aging, friends, doubts, family. They all gather here behind the screen – just like they do where you are.

At the moment, we’ve just returned from one of our favorite Mexican restaurants and a Margarita. A nice respite after a long hard day.

We opened at 9 Am and closed at 5 PM. Eight hours of one customer after the other, shifting tasks, loading plants, answering questions, juggling priorities, searching the database over and over again, dealing with all the myriad personalities that come in. Taking a few moments to honor your friends when they arrive amidst the controlled chaos. Walking, walking, walking. Radios, invoices, plant identifications, coordinating getting things dug and loaded into every type of vehicle, talking to new customers about how things work here at the nursery. Finding a few moments to grab a bite for lunch and maybe a cup of coffee. Watching at every spare moment to see where you can take up the slack.

What we do

I like it but it’s tiring. The more so since I had my knee surgery which is just a month ago now. My legs still feel weak and they complain when I push them, they complain when I give them stairs, they complain when I bend my right knee too far. I’m used to feeling strong. All my life I’ve been strong for my weight and feeling weak is fairly alien to me. But, I’ll be 60 next August so patience in these matters is becoming a virtue.

Our season’s rolling along well. The numbers are good and if they keep up, we very well may beat last years numbers. At least half the customers who arrive are new, having seen us on the web (www.woodscreeknursery.com) or heard about us by word-of-mouth. It’s good. We’re a family owned business and we like what we do and we like the people who work for us and so, I think, it feels good here and people who come respond to it.

Sharon’s a genius about plants as well and so every where you look, there are good looking plants – green, healthy and vibrant.

SharonSharonSharon in her garden

I’m not complaning. I’m just trying to render a slice of what being here and being me looks like. It’s been a long and twisted path to arrive here as a nurseryman at 59. Someday, I’ll have to write the second half of the autobiography I began under about me. The part still to be written is, by far, the more interesting part.

Sharon and I in New Zealand

These last weeks, among all the work, blogging and recovery from my knee surgery, something very special happened. My younger son, Chris, with whom I’ve been estranged on and off for a number of years, contacted me. It all began long ago with a personal loan gone bad but over the years since, I’m not sure anyone really knows all the reasons that have kept us apart. But, a few weeks ago, I got an E-mail from him after a very long time and a reconciliation was begun. Over the next week or so, we shared a lot of things with each other by E-mail that have always been there in the picture but which we’ve always just walked around. It was a good experience. I’d even call it a beautiful experience. I’ve always loved Chris very deeply in spite of all of the misunderstandings and getting back with him and opening our hearts was one of those things that marks a turning point in your life and your memories. Last Tuesday, I drove him from Bellevue over to Kennewick in eastern Washington. About a four hour drive. On the way, we continued to share our thoughts, experiences and feelings and I’m thinking we’ve left the rough spots behind.

Chris and I in Kennewick at his Mom’s placeChris, his mom, Rose, and sister, Jenny

Life is always such a rich tapestry. There are threads that come up that you want to deal with and, sometimes, there just isn’t time and you watch them recede until they slowly become irrelevant due to the passage of time.

A good friend of mine in Europe who is a global climate change doubter sent me an interesting speech by Michael Crichton. Like the Great Global Warming Swindle business a few months ago, it cries for analysis, decomposition and rebuttal but I look at the hours I’ve had these last two weeks and I think, ‘but where?’

The things I’m blogging about evolve as well. Some ideas like Peak Oil descend in my perceived priorities while others like the problems swirling around the ascendancy of corporate power in man’s world ascend and beg for commentary. Then there’s also a growing feeling of frustration at all of the good hearted and well meaning writing I’ve read on the web about mankind’s problems. Many people just don’t seem to get that we don’t need another Noam Chomsky to explain it all to us one more time even more clearly before we all catch fire, hit critical mass and all come together and solve the world’s problems. People come up with charts, analysis, scientific papers – as if these new bricks in the wall of our understandings will somehow precipitate the solution. I find myself wanting shout, “Detach, watch the patterns, see where they are going without prejudice, feel the wind in history’s trees. Think about what human nature is, ask yourself if humanity has EVER responded significantly to problems like the ones that face us now. I want to shout that you all should be thinking about your plans, your end games, about the people you love and recognize that inside most of you is an irrational belief that all of this is going to somehow work out so that it isn’t going to affect the world you live in – no matter how bad it looks on paper.

I keep publishing the stories and assembling them into patterns that seem irrefutable to me. I keep thinking that maybe I’ll figure out how to say things even more clearly. And then I see myself in the mirror. But at least, I rationalize, I’ve got a plan that’s commensurate with what I perceive to be happening – I’m not just going to sit here.

I’m going to go down stairs now and watch something or other that we’ve recorded on our DVR with Sharon and chill out. Tomorrow, accounting, wells, plants, pumps, invoices, customers, and a hundred other things wait for me.

Outside my door, the world and its history still move in their glacially slow arc towards what humanity’s first technological civilization will end as.

But tonight, I’m going to go lay about.

Cheers.

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