Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Sunday, March 22, 2009

If It Gets Easier, Am I Still Doing It Right?

When I wonder if I'm still following my calling (as it becomes easier, and familiar, I have to find a compass other than "is this the most uncomfortable, growth-filled thing I can be doing right now?"), I'll catalog activities over a couple of days and assess them.

Karl made an amazing barbecue over the fire pit for dinner. Much of the food was local. Then we had our weekly community meeting, but outside, around the fire. Hank took notes on his laptop, and we had illumination from fire, solar-power lights and regular electric-grid tied lights. Urban permaculture rating: people care, earth care, fair share, stacked functions, integrate, small slow solutions, use edges and margins, observe and interact, produce no waste... yeah, that one ranked pretty high.

At work I tried to explain PG&E's TOU (Time of Use) E7 rate to a client, and I measured how much sun shine falls on his roof. I quoted a 4kW system to another client. As much as Right Livelihood fits into urban permaculture, this activity fits: especially as I consider fair share, observing and interacting, planning to obtain a yield, catch and store energy, design from pattern to details, use edges (specifically, the "edge" of a roof and the sky, a place currently barren on most dwellings).

I helped Ingrid Severson install a rain catchment system at her cute cottage. She gave me coconut oil from the barrels we were converting and fed me. Earth care, people care, fair share, catch and store energy, apply self-regulation and accept feedback, small slow solutions, obtain a yield, use edges and value the marginal, creatively adapt to change... another multi-point score!

In no particular order: I also had a sauerkraut party. Not as much fun as the last, but it was spread over both Saturday and Sunday as people dropped in and out. I got invited to two presentations, but I already had plans. I also played, with family and housemates, a version of Sorry!® in which you hold 5 cards and plan your strategy. I comforted a child who was feeling hurt, chauffeured parents to collect their child from the YMCA, and shared our one car back and forth with my wife.

I courageously called a friend when I was feeling down and shared my sorrow, and she listened and I felt better and no longer stewed in my juices.

Well, how about that. So many delicious, delightful activities in my life in the last few days, and all of them supporting and supported by the dense interconnected web that is urban permaculture.

I suppose I'm still on the right path.

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