I’m splitting wood today for the stock on hand for this Winter. At first I thought that frugally I would need about a cord (4′ x 8′ x 4′) of wood, but now I think double that would be more prudent.
The Office of the Washington State Climatologist (OWSC) predicted that there are three probable outcomes for this Winter, 33% average; 33% colder than average; 33% warmer than average. I’m going with the unaccounted for 1%.
So, more wood than I thought I needed, twice as much in fact because conservatively speaking, whenever I have estimated anything that counts on my abilities, wiles, knowledge and time estimations, I’m off at least by 50%. So, taking the 50% and the 1%, just as random numbers, I determined I actually need twice as much wood as previously estimated. Within a 1% margin of error of course.
I’m not so crazy that I think I know how to completely accurately guesstimate anything, so I’ve always allowed myself the yawning margin of 1% possibility that I may be wrong. I think we all need these little buffers to keep reality in persepctive. I’ve heard people laugh when I mention that system and theory, and they’re probably thinking “Whoaa, Helmut. Don’t be so judgemental, a guy like you could probably operate on a .01% margin for error.”, but…
Anyway, I was looking at the trees in the distance as I was chopping and at the leaves fallen from the nearby trees; and when I put some kindling in a wooden box and walked into the cabin (90% wood) and sat in a wooden (98.3%) chair I marveled at the complex world we live in.
I use the flesh of the former living trees that have provided me with poetic beauty from a distance, to build and heat my environment. I love the color of the trees in Autumn, but in my yard, they make a mess. The leaves give me Nostalgia in the Fall and Hope in the Spring and Shade in the Summer; now I have to stop and think about all this and its implications as to my right place in the world. How I depend on the world around me to feed, clothe, move, inspire, calm and protect me. So, I stop chopping. I stop. I look. And…
I reflect on this conflicted being that depends on, and uses other life, sentient and non-sentient; to create comfort and security and art and philosophy and religion, in order to deal with the conflict that is caused by my use of fellow beings. Heady (sophmoric, more than one garden-variety intellectual has told me), stuff for this nattering soon-to-be-senescent old coot to be arrested by. Curiously worried, momentarily, until I remember I have also been given the gift of awareness and the marvel of resting in place for a moment and looking and seeing, and thanking and muttering and enjoying and knowing we are creatures of conflict; within whom, a great peace is possible.
Conflict always comes to rest within peace.
Just for today,
I undertake to
Refrain from evil,
Do only good, and
Purify my heart.