A new beginning…

Well, it has been over a year since my last post. I tried to publish this post on the exact anniversary, however my computer time is blessedly limited, so it got delayed a wee bit. Part of me wishes that I had got this one published at the one year mark, just for the sake of symmetry, but alas it was not to be. I’ll get over it I’m sure.

Since I first created this blog, my goal was to use it as a vehicle to share my experiences as I learned to better live in my place. That phrase is a loaded term of course, to “better live in one’s place.” and I will not delve into it now, though I will jot a note down for myself so that I can explore it better at a later date. Needless to say, looking back over my two posts thus far, I am not sure that I can exactly consider this entire experience a completely successful experiment.

So what have I been doing for the past twelve months? Life mostly. I have been living, working, worshiping, playing, and celebrating, each to a certain degree. And I have been laying low. I have, largely though not entirely, “disappeared from the grid,” which is a phrase I use with glee, and something that you, dear reader, will soon hopefully appreciate as much as I do in very short order. Since my last posting (or perhaps even before my last posting) I decided to temporarily remove myself from The Facebook and had given my phone number out to a very select few people. I was still reachable via e-mail, but sadly and interestingly enough, that mode of communication has become somewhat obsolete except for spammers and select institutions*. Now, to be clear, I have recently rejoined The Facebook, albeit in an extremely limited capacity, and have given my phone number out to more people, yet still, over the past year, I have remained a relative recluse.

It should be noted that this is not because I don’t like people. I generally like them very much, though I will admit I like some people more than I like others. This usually has more to do with whether or not they like me first, though I digress. The reason that I have almost vanished from the social scene is because I was tired. Not depressed certainly, but tired. And I needed some rest. I needed a way to revive myself after five beautiful years in The Academy, a sort of Sabbath for myself. I needed time to consider the future, to plan, to prepare, and to begin something new, something exciting and something that is possibly so utterly bizarre that only an individual whose passions include sustainable agriculture, camping, and Benedictine traditions could possibly think it is even remotely a good idea.

But that post, my dear readers, is for another day.



* As a somewhat related aside, I was recently told by a friend of mine that they have no way of reaching me. I asked them if they had my e-mail address. They did. I asked them if they had me on their Facebook list. They did. I asked them if they knew my phone number. They did. I asked them if they knew where I lived. They did. It turns out that, due to my complete dislike of texting culture, I refused to get a cell phone. Which meant that they could not figure out how to reach me.

Views on Deer

This evening, as I was working away at my computer, I looked up and saw two deer outside of my window, grazing on the grass in my backyard. I’ve seen these deer almost every day since moving here. Or rather, I have seen deer, almost every day since moving here. Whether or not they are the same deer, I am, as of yet, unable to determine. Perhaps, as my familiarity with this neighbourhood, and its more-than-human residents grows, I will one day begin to identify specific deer. That would be nice.

As I watched them, I began to think of the current deer hunting by-laws that have recently been passed. Using the fewest possible words, the city of Thunder Bay has recently allowed for the bow hunting  of deer within city limits, a move designed to help limit their numbers, and the resulting injuries to both humans and deer that, sadly, happen all too often on our roads and highways. If you would like more words, I would direct you here: Deer Bow Hunt Season.

I thought of how I would be personally interested in hunting a deer, as a single animal could easily supply me with more than enough meat for a year, and, as the hunter, I could ensure that the creature was killed with as little pain as possible. I thought of how eating an animal that came from this place (a 1/8 mile diet?) could allow me to better connect with this place, and of how the process of stalking, hunting, cleaning, butchering, preserving, cooking and eating it would allow me to cultivate my sense of the importance of food.

I thought of all these things and then smiled.

I do not have my hunting license, nor do I own (or have ever really used) a bow. Furthermore, I would have no idea what to aim for on the deer to ensure a quick kill, and I do not understand even the most fundamental parts of cleaning and butchering the carcass. As such, the hunting of these two creatures in my backyard was entirely beyond my abilities.

And as I thought of these things, I realized that, do to my inability as a hunter, I am forced and thus allowed to appreciate these deer on a different level, one which allows me to appreciate their health and strength and beauty, not as potential prey, but as neighbours in this place.

One of these views of deer, as prey, or as neighbour is not inherently better than the other, and certainly, these two views are much closer related than I have presented here. Still, I am glad that, for now, I am enjoying this view, from my window.