this morning i woke to the news that one of our two pines still showing green has been marked with a big fat ‘X’. almost two hundred trees on our land alone have been or will need to be taken down and i’ve been holding on to this one tightly in my mind. it’s presence has been a comfort to me. a promise that not all is lost. a promise that my children will have a century old friend left in this barren landscape. having it cut down…the thought alone is heartbreaking for me. a stinging loss made greater by those that came before it. we’ll do our best to save it, but for now we wait and lock the gate behind us when we go. i’ve been wrestling with my love for this place. it is so different than it was the balmy day in may when we first laid eyes on it. we had looked for two years for the perfect spot. a simple house with good bones. a safer road than the one we were currently driving. privacy. these things were on our list, but at the very top were the trees. trees that would offer shade to our animals and a hammock or two. trees that left large open spaces of usable land to feed our family year round. trees that stretched up to a clear sky every night and greeted us with their sweet scent every morning. trees that made you think of the ocean when the wind blew. we squealed behind the realtor’s back when he opened the gate that day. it doesn’t sound the same. it doesn’t smell the same. but it is still ours. we are still stewards of this mountain, trees or no and it should not suffer alone. i realized yesterday that i have a choice. i can bemoan the destruction this fire wrought and forsake the land because of it or i can choose to love it. i can choose to do all the things i planned to do. i can read and research and help the land heal. i can replant and re-imagine. i can choose to fall in love with it regardless of its scars. i know someone who has done that for me.
i hope to use this space to document the continued journey in homesteading this land after wildfire. in the next month or two we’ll be inoculating some of our stumps and burned logs with mushroom spores to aid in the decomposition process as well as to provide food and habitat for critters that have been displaced. we should get some tasty foraging out of the deal too! we’ll also be moving forward with our plans to bring chicks home this spring. we’ve been looking over coop plans and chicken friendly compost set ups to help us make the most out of their scratching and save ourselves some money on soil and feed. our house plans should be finalized in the coming weeks and we’ll begin the process of building a new home. in the meantime i’ll be taking lessons from oak trees in re-sprouting at the roots.
also this while driving right now. the video is worth it too…happy that one of my favorites to follow reminded me how much i enjoy this album.