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December 31, 2020: Out with the Old and In with the New

And so I am giving this last 2020 dispatch a cliched title. Actually, the New Year ho ha is full of the same old same old, the most popular being the image of the Old Year Adult and the New Year Baby. Cartoons everywhere depict the outgoing year by featuring an image of a wizened, unhealthy old man and the incoming year as featuring a happy, healthy baby. Never mind that the outgoing old man is just 365 days old – the icons get the idea across, which is that it’s time for a new start.

What happens is that we ignore the fact that in a few weeks the new year will take on the characteristics of the old year. If we failed to do this, we’d have nothing to celebrate.

View of Arkose Ridge from Siggy's Trail

This year we are putting 2020 behind us, and 2021 ahead of us. 2020 could have been the year of balance. As it turned out, for many it was the year of imbalance. There was the virus, and political mayhem. For a while it appeared as though we were stepping back into the dark ages. Many of us are now feeling as though the pendulum, which swung as far to right as it could, is now swinging back to the left. However, it would be deleterious to be congratulatory.

I live in a red state, so daily I see the far right attempting to destroy the planet, all in the name of God. They believe that the end times are coming, and so they have no qualms about hastening the planet’s demise. And in the process, they are making life hard for the rest of us. I’d be blithely unaware of this if I lived in a town or a city. Instead, I live in a semi-rural area that borders a state forest called The Matanuska Moose Range.

All year they come here, primarily to recreate. They trash the trails with their noisy machines, unaware that they’re changing the migratory patterns of area wildlife. They also come to harvest. There are those who in the spring, en masse, harvest large amounts of fiddlehead ferns and nettles. And there are those who in the winter, en masse, harvest young spruce trees, which they discard after the holidays.

Today, as we were riding, I did as I often do and looked closely at the trees that comprise our small forest. It occurred to me that the area is going to change radically in the next ten years. The state could sell off the land, and the remaining trees, spruce, cottonwood, and birch could be harvested. And it’s conceivable that housing developments might be put in.

If there was something I might do, I’d do it. Alas, what’s needed here is some sound leadership. Me, I am a follower. Give me a task and I’m on to it. So, the best I can hope for is that the voters in this state wake up and elect officials that are invested in protecting area resources.

Some would say don’t hold your breath. Me, I have a good set of lungs.

Next: 1. 1/1/21: The State of the Farm Address

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