(photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/tristanbrand/)
I'm not a political person, but was excited to watch the inauguration. I couldn't quite make out the words to the last speaker during the inauguration, we were getting ready to take Jeffrey to the airport and running around. The little parts I caught were beautiful I thought. I found the transcript online. There were pieces in Dr. Joseph Lowery's Benediction that just sparkled. The phrases rolled and landed perfectly. I wonder if he wrote the first part himself or if he was quoting, I thought it was the most beautiful. It hasn't mattered enough for me to research it though.
"God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand -- true to thee, O God, and true to our native land."
This last part of his poetic prayer, conjured images of childhood day-dreams of a perfect world and summed up perfectly what the majority of people on this planet want in their hearts.
"Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around -- (laughter) -- when yellow will be mellow -- (laughter) -- when the red man can get ahead, man -- (laughter) -- and when white will embrace what is right."
That same above link also has the lyrics to the song that the very last part was taken from. Some friends are elated and some I know said this was a depressing day for them. I don't put my trust in any politician and we'll have to see what he's able to accomplish - if he's a walker or a talker. But his speeches were inspiring and I hope he's able to help the country even some. So many people were happy and have felt hope for these last two days. People cried, danced, sang and celebrated; one big world wide party. Like a wedding, there will be a honey moon phase and right now so many people are in that euphoric state. Like any marriage, lets all hope that things work out for the good like they sometimes do. Shouldn't it make everyone smile a little more, even for one day, that so many people around the world feel happy and hopeful? Being negative about this day, is like being "depressed" that a tsunami of happy was rolling around hitting millions. I enjoyed watching the happiness of others and wonder what changes are coming.
Like Dr.Lowery said in his benediction, we're trying to find our vine and fig tree to sit under. Since I lost my job, our perspective on money has changed proportionally. With a job, our taxes didn't seem that big of a deal. As we worked on the house building project this winter, we made it as small as possible for our needs to keep the taxes lower. Then the tax bill came just for the property and we looked at what we owe for January 31st. We can pay the bill, but suddenly it just seems so high now. I have indirect income in the amount of money I save us, but that's all we might have from me for a while.
Jeffrey works in Missouri a few times a year, but could pick up more casual income if we were closer. We're still going to focus on gardening and building a homestead as our primary "income". So for fun we looked at the property taxes there in an area that was a few hours away. They were less than 2% of our current taxes. Plus the growing season is longer and I'd cut my commute to family and friends in half which means no more airplanes! It made sense to look into moving. So we've worked on that the last few weeks.
During that time the winter has gotten hard. Some days are better than others, but Rufus (the pig) refuses to go outside. He's miserable and grouchy. We'd turn the garage heater on for a little, while he ate on the coldest days. But the propane tank keeps freezing up this week so that's out now. He'd be much happier in a warmer climate and we sure would get outside more. After about 30 minutes working in this, no amount of thermal keeps my toes warm. Jeffrey's mother will be living with us when we build and it'll be easier on her. The locals are a little sick of this too and everyone is hoping for a January thaw soon.
As an added benefit to moving to Missouri, the price per acre is less. I really missed living in the woods too, so we're going to find a place that is at least partially wooded. The icing on the cake is that the building codes are much more flexible there and we won't have to make as much of a case, if any, to code enforcement. We're still going to get an engineer to approve it first though. We've never designed a house before and need one more set of eyes.
We had so much fun here in NY, met some cool people and learned a lot more about medicinal herbs, gardening, self-sufficiency and building. 2008 was one of the best years of my life. But we are flexible and if it makes more sense to go somewhere else to live simply and affordably; then that's what we're going to do. I also have an uncle there and a friend we met here that is probably going to move there one day.
It's not easy to move and it sure makes you examine your load. Every move I get rid of more and more stuff. That's what I'm working on this evening, sitting quietly going through old things and smiling at the happy people in the world. So I will say goodnight. To all you happy humans out there, smile on.