Pioneers

Spring                                                                        Planting Moon

Finally, my activities and the turning of the Great Wheel will synch up.  Gonna plant cold weather crops today.  The soil’s still cold though the air will warm this week, only to cool down again next.  It’s important to remember that our average last frost date is the beginning of the second week of May and we haven’t gotten there yet.  No transplants outside yet.

Except.  The leek and onion I got in the mail Thursday and Friday.

Kate and I will be a pair out there today, trying to figure out which of us should do what to lessen the likelihood of pain.

As the planting has approached, I’ve pondered, as I have often, the fate of pioneers* who wrenched a back, had disc problems, sprained an ankle, broke an arm at the wrong time of year.  Not that there’s a right time of year, but some times are worse than others.  Planting and harvesting would be terrible times to have a significant physical impairment.  Can you imagine?  Your life and perhaps your family’s depends on planting this year’s crop.

What is today a nuisance, a bother, something to wait out, could have been literally fatal, and not just for one.  I’m sure everybody pitched in, did what they could, but sexual dimorphism and physical development from child to adult would often mean some work simply couldn’t be done.

A bleak prospect.

I can load up on Ultram, lace up the backbrace and then, if necessary, go to the grocery store and buy my vegetables.  The options are better today.

 

*And, yes, I recognize the irony between the pioneers and the Native Americans, the latter  having developed their styles of living off the land in accordance with the way the land provided, at least for the most part.  The pioneers, most of them anyhow, were usually poor folks hunting for a place to live and raise a family.  This phenomenon of the poor spreading out to the places of least convenience continues in our day.

I no longer know how to easily understand the right and wrong of it all.  Yes, the Indian Wars were wrong.  Of course.  And the associated Indian schools and all of it.  Wrong.

The pioneers, though?  They don’t seem wrong to me, perhaps not right in a larger, probably undiscernible sense (for them), but not wrong.  At least not most.  Most were Okies.  Cox’s army.  Peasant class folks hungering for a chance.  For them, I have a lot of empathy.

The question today is not how to go back and redo the past. Rather, it is how to discern the lines that will allow us all to walk into the future together, as friends and allies.

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