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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Relying on Others

There are times for independence, and there are times to seek for help from others.

Recently, we have been fighting with our wood supply. I know I need more, if not for this year, then for the coming years. I don’t want to use a chainsaw — I am afraid that I would be too clumsy, and chop off a limb. The physical labor that I am now doing, may be giving me biceps (yes, indeed) and may have forced me to lose weight (wowee), but it has not given me the strength or courage to deal with wood.

I do not mind carrying wood, hauling wood, or even stacking wood. These are all things that ate manageable. However, when I attempt to split wood, I end up with a piece of log with many notches across the top. Nothing split, just sweat spilled. Don’t even ask me to consider to chop wood with a chainsaw. I am not going there! I think we have to know our limits.

An Amish man stopped by the other day and asked if I would be willing to hire him to chop wood (and bring in dead wood from our property). Yes, of course! I would gladly hire someone from my community to help with what I am unable to do. I suppose if it was a dire emergency, I could eventually split wood on my own, and my strength and ability would grow. I would gladly allow someone else to do it for me. Yes, I plan on practicing and grow my skills at splitting wood, but I don’t think we should depend on that skill at this time! he is helping me, and I am helping him — as one of his few sources of winter income.

This Amish man has come over a few times with a load of wood, and then split it outside of my door. I have watched and my children (8 y/o and 10 y/o) have participated with their own axes. I have been impressed with the growing skill of my 8 y/o son. His skill has grown, and as he grows, so will his strength.

Independence can be a wonderful way to realize one’s own strength and ability, but it is necessary to understand that we cannot all do everything alone. This is why community is so important for us. We need to be able to turn to one another for help or to hire for those jobs that we are unable to do for ourselves. Perhaps we can barter or trade skills. Working together is what makes us human and makes us into a community.


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