Spring Burn Pile

Spring Burn Pile

Part of yesterday was spent outside — in the garden, working compost, cleaning buckets, collecting the bits of drainage tile used to support celery plants, tending the garlic, planting turnips and radishes.

Using a bag of shredded office paper and a match, I started the burn pile created in the aftermath of an unusual wind storm last year. An arborist cut down the big branches and I sawed them into smaller logs and branches. The wood was dry and burned quickly even though it was covered with snow a couple days ago.

The first spring burn pile marks the beginning of gardening season.

I didn’t connect the garden hose as we are expecting freezing temperatures again this weekend. There is plenty of moisture in the ground to give the seeds a start.

A week ago I got a haircut. Partly it was too shaggy and in my eyes while working outside at the home, farm and auto supply store. Partly it was about casting aside the experience it represents for a new start.

My retirement March 16 has been something of a crash landing. Long anticipated, I know the major themes — writing, gardening, farm work, home maintenance and community organizing. I’ve had to add a need to deal with my aging frame and life systems. I made an appointment to see a medical doctor for a physical next week.

Even though I have more time, there never seems like enough to get what I want accomplished. With that in mind, I’ve come to believe what I said in February, that low income workers and retirees can’t afford social media. I posted this on Facebook this morning:

I’ve decided to end my relationship with the Facebook application on or about April 30. I joined in 2008 to follow our daughter and she deleted her account a couple of years ago. It’s not you fair reader, it’s me.

I listened to Mark Zuckerberg testify to Congress yesterday and his plans for dealing with public issues here. I have no interest in artificial intelligence reading my every post to determine if it is worthy according to Facebook criteria.

That said, I will miss the exchanges, likes and shares and appreciate your interest in what I’ve been doing. Facebook has been a creative outlet for me and I plan to channel those impulses elsewhere.

You are invited to continue to follow me elsewhere. I plan to keep my twitter account @PaulDeaton_IA and my WordPress account pauldeaton.com. If you are on WordPress click the button on my home page to add me to your reader, or click on the Follow Via Email button if you are not.

So that’s it. Hope to see you around… literally.

The burn pile was hot and I had to keep my distance while using a hoe to move partly burned branches to the top of it. By supper time it was a pile of white ashes with minerals returned to the ground and carbon released into the atmosphere. I plan to add another garden plot where the burn pile was.

We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. A burn pile reminds us all of the natural world is in transition. In a burn pile there’s no judgment, just the heat of released energy and beautiful, ever changing orange-yellow-blue flames.

In this moment that’s all we require to sustain ourselves.

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