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July 4, 2021: Independence Day???

I told Ryder she could continue indefinitely, giving voice to her ideas via my website. Tonight, when I asked her if she wanted another go at it, she said she already had her say, and in fact, in her second dispatch, in places, she had repeated herself. Well, one down, twelve more voices to go. Even the chickens said they have something to say. And Tyra, she wants her own website. It is like Animal Farm around here, add to what Orwell said, the humans here are underlings.

Well, move over everyone. I have something important to articulate. Today is July 4, Independence Day. To me, this is the ultimate irony. Here we are, celebrating our country’s independence. This IS reverse logic. Independence is what’s doing us in. By this, I mean the concept of “mine.”

Alys and Raudi go through pole bend obstacle

“Mine” is a mindset, and a very poor one. It, quite literally, goes with the territory, no pun intended. People “purchase” land, then do as they please, often to the detriment of others. I will use our neighborhood as an example. We have neighbors who shoot guns, and tonight shot off loud fireworks. Never mind that animals, wild and domestic, are bothered by this. “I have the right to do as I please, on my own property,” they say. We have neighbors who let their dogs run free, never mind that such animals often bite others. “I have the right to do as I please, on my own property,” they say.

We have now lived here twenty years. In this time, I have watched the concept of “mine” coincide with development. There used to be a trail up the hill. Then road guy purchased some property and had a road put in. Then a fellow purchased a woman’s property and began “making Improvements.” He attempted to take out a problematic hill, which then better enabled snowmobilers and ATVers to access nearby state land.

The second owner recently sold the property to someone else. He’s now “making improvements.” He’s serious about being a good land steward, of this I am sure. In his own way, like us, he’s celebrating his independence by doing what private landowners do, making his plot of land his own.

He’s a reasonable fellow, in fact he will be a good neighbor. If he stays, he will continue to be a visible presence. If he leaves, he will sell the place to someone else who will be a visible presence. It is impossible for landowners to not be a visible presence. Therein lies the rub. How much visible presence can I live with? This is something that in the future, I am going to have to reckon with.

Next: 185. 7/5/21: Together thirty-five years

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