Striving for Harmony on Earth Day 2020

We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.”

—Aldo Leopold, environmentalist

Two weeks ago my husband was quarantined after being exposed to a coworker diagnosed with COVID-19. We’re both quite healthy so we were probably more concerned about this “precursor to retirement” than we were with getting sick (truth be told, after 15 years of working from home, I may have acquired a liiiitle sense of spacial ownership). As it turns out, Aldo Leopold was one smart guy and “striving for harmony” is a very beneficial thing.

And so is our wonderful outdoors.

Like Americans everywhere, my husband and I have been counterbalancing our coronavirus lockdowns with the germ-free air of nature. During his time off we added miles to our daily walks and enjoyed spring’s progression in our rural neighborhood. We discovered the Scuppernong Trail, checking off yet another state park in honor of our annual pass. And my husband, never one to sit still, spent days cutting wood for next winter’s heating season (I suspect this was his therapeutic time away from me:-).

All this outdoorsy-ness gave us time for distraction-free discussion. For example, me: Instead of taking valuable agricultural land for solar farms, couldn’t each household have its own power system? Like the solar shingles they’re doing in Europe? And him: That would require a complete re-structuring of electrical ownership and distribution (he is a lineman, after all). Together we agree new ideas will always come with cost and problem-solving, yet they should never be completely discounted.

My husband’s back to work now, doing his part to keep people powered up and productive. Our house during the day is once again all mine. I’ve gotta say it feels a little too quiet.

Oh, by God’s grace, we haven’t gotten sick. And someday, I think we’ll handle retirement just fine.

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