Marble Mountain Ranch is far removed from any connection to municipal services such as electrical power, drinking water, and septic disposal. If we want these services, we have to create them. When we came to the ranch in 1994 I recall the paradigm shift in my thinking as I came to realize that throwing on a light switch did not necessarily mean that the light would glow. I previously always took it for granted that the water spigot would flow freely every time I opened the valve.
We regularly have natural events here that make me realize just how exposed we are by living in the human condition. Our forests are endemic to fires, the rivers regularly flood, the roads slip off the mountain, the mountains slip to the rivers, and on – and – on. A few weeks ago we had a 6.5 magnitude earthquake 10 miles off the coast from Eureka and the North part of the state was well shaken. However, decades of following our civic leaders in construction practices utilizing the uniform building code, and the grace of God helped us to survive this one without any fatalities and with relatively small increments of damage. Just as I was feeling smug about how in control and self reliant we are here, we got word about the quake in Haiti. Now my heart bleeds for a nation broken.
I am not really sure where I am going with this blog entry, other than to say my heart hurts and that I commit to be as self reliant and prepared for emergency as I possibly can be. I suppose this is the point, now that I have arrived: There is little I can do as an individual for a distant nation, but there is much I can do as an individual for preparing myself, my immediate family and for being at the ready for service to my home community.
We do in fact, already open our doors to host firefighters during those Summers that we are called to battle forest fires in the area. We have opened our doors to neighbors with riparian homes threatened by floods. We continue to live as much in a self reliant and prepared fashion as we are capable of doing. Still, my thanks go to those who are dirtying their hands and growing their hearts while in service to the souls of our neighbor nation – Haiti.
I think that self reliance and preparedness goes beyond having the physical infrastructure to survive a natural catastrophe or personal life trauma. I think it connects to emotional stability, and generally optimistic views of reality. It means more than fiscal preparedness or owning deep savings accounts. It means having a full memory bank of good life moments while navigating the vicissitudes of our lives.
OK< time to step off the soap box…Meanwhile, here are some views from some good times
at our home on the Klamath River: