Abundance AND scarcity.
Sunlight is scarce, at least here beneath the somber clouds of November. Accurate weather forecasts are scarce, especially regarding cloud cover. Weather.com has promised some sun every day for the last 3 days. Even this afternoon, as the drizzle began anew, Weather.com insisted on promising Partly Cloudy. Time is scarce. OK, that’s an exaggeration. Yes each day gifts me 24 hour, but tomorrow I could use about 33 or so. Battery capacity is scarce, falling to 75%. Actually, we’re well above the 50% threshold for permanent damage. But with the scarcity of sunlight, accurate weather forecasts and time tomorrow, I did something I haven’t done since last winter.
I started the backup tractor-powered generator. Like it or not, there’s an abundance of smelly diesel fuel. Or at least, they never seem to run out down at the Elba Convenience Store. So I harvest this apparent abundance. That’s the problem with the grid---any grid---it’s so complex, so impossibly opaque, I’ll never be able to “see” their capacity, unlike my off-grid batteries which are now at 95%. If November delivers just a little sun, that will hold us until Friday.
Friday: the day Linda is scheduled to return home from her bilateral hip replacement.
Suddenly, time feels scarce. After months of preparation angst, the surgery scheduler says we must arrive at the hospital by 8AM tomorrow. And as Linda’s official “coach”, I’ll be helping her---navigating, cheering her on---from the time she wakes up and rises from her bed (yes, they insist she stand almost immediately) until she’s whole again. Until Linda returns, I’ve little time to tend Home the Land Built. Accurate recovery forecasts are scarce, especially when replacing both hips at the same time. And light feels scarce. By 5:00, the November drizzle drew the curtain shut outside our bank of windows. To see beyond the darkness, we harvest what we have in abundance.
The lights of friendship. The lights of community. The lights of love.
Linda’s star-studded walker, draped with ribbons by her yoga kula. E-mails, Facebook comments, phone calls. Best wishes from Paul, a man we met only once at the Solar Home Tour. The love we feel---pulsing over the miles to us here on the Land---from so many of you.
Galadriel is right. There is a light when all other lights go out. And if I could, I'd say there's not only a light, there's an abundance of light when all other lights go out.