Which Planet is This?

Time and time again I've put in three weeks of hard work to take a week off and fly back to visit my wife and baby. I'm flying between two different seasons, latitudes, hours of sunlight, time zones, climates, ect. I feel I am living in two different worlds at once, and to get to each of those worlds I have to go through a portal above the clouds and through airports. Flying across Canada and America from the north west to the east gives me a look at what's being developed and how society is sprawling outwards. Each airport has it's own vibe, too. And, as you walk past each gate and look at the city and country to where the plane is heading to, you can get a glimpse of the people and the culture that lives there. Whenever I arrive to the gate departing to Alaska there are always a few men dressed in military uniforms, dads and sons carrying their fly fishing rods and a few people where extratuff boots. Here I am a week and half ago getting ready to pack up and leave... rainbow in the sun. 

Following morning smoke in the tundra... lightning has started a fire nearby.

My final dish for this three week stint... donuts.

12 hours later I'm in Hamilton, Ontario getting a lesson from baby Rosa about where to throw your trash and not litter!

After a week of steamy hot city weather and splashing in the fountain at the park, I hop back on the bus to go to the Toronto airport. A little ways out of Hamilton and the skyline turns from trees to townhouses. Green to grey, natural to rock squares.

It would be one thing if the development stopped a decade ago and the natural environment was given a chance to regrow to beautiful and purify the urban jungle, but instead it seems like it just keeps growing and desertification is the outcropping.

Up in the air over smoggy Toronto.

Why aren't their gardens on these roofs? What about solar panels?

A matrix of surburban houses. Engineered like a computer chip.

Oh, Chicago. Once again, like many other cities... grey.

A breather above the clouds.

Midway from Chicago to Seattle I witness the prairies and farms, lots of squares. Any GMO down there?

Hey Creator, if you're up there, is this the way it's supposed to be? Is this at all sustainable? Could you lend us a hand here? I think mother nature is need of a little tender love and care.


Mt. Rainer

Seattle. Always feels good to me to be back on the west coast.

3 hours northward and back to Fairbanks. It's neat to leave around midnight in darkness in Seattle and only a couple hours later be back in the midnight sun.

Heading back to Toolik. Ah, yes. Beautiful. Smells like pine and rain. Cool breeze. Not a skyscraper in sight.


Anonymous said...

I read your blog with fascination. When I read of your need to fly massive miles to support your family and your quandary concerning earning a living in the US while adjusting for your partner being Canadian there is one possible solution that comes to mind.

All over Canada there are groups composed of many retired people who moved near an existing village or town when they retired and who live on small (5-10 acre) farms in communites of like-minded people. Together they try to provide for their own food needs or trade within the community for what they need. Mixed in with these older people are younger entrepreneurs who open cheese factories or butcher shos, etc. in these communities using local crops and products only. Also younger people who have been lucky enough to acquire small acerages to plant. I have friends who live in just such a community- Sharbot Lake, Ontario but there are many, many communities like this. And I believe an even higher proportion of these small almost self-supporting groups are along the west coast in B.C.

One of the concerns in these areas is that as they continue to age they will not be able to continue to complete all tasks. Since frequently they are people who retired early with small pensions in order to leave cities and stress behind it is a looming concern about their continued ability to live self-sufficiently from their own land.

When I read your posts I think of the possibility of you and your partner joining such a community somewhere in BC, so that you can still fly north to earn money in Alaska but could also contribute to the organic farms currently run by those over 60. These communities are not usually composed of those who always farmed so there are seldom any grown children to take over the land. However since they are near existing towns there are schools, doctors, etc.

In one case I know of one couple has a small pleasant home that stands empty on their property that they would give rent free to someone who would help them plant and then later assist them to can and freeze their crops. They could not pay cash. Another person I know could pay someone to help butcher their pigs in the fall- but not pay a salary all year. Each community I know of has summer Farmer's markets, another potential source of cash- your baking looks fabulous!

Perhap I am a dreamer but it seems that if you located a community like this you would be able to cobble together quite a decent living doing what you believe in all while belonging to an interesting community. Of course in each location there are others who do not necessarily farm small acerages and they are all ages.

Anyway its just a stray thought I have had whenever I catch up on your blog. There are all sorts of sites discussing this type of life style and you could probably locate a few to explore. It might take a while living in one area while building the connections necessary to earning a decent living.

Best of luck! Keep your dreams!

emily stares said...

Preach it, Cody! Couldn't agree more. And your plea to the creator is poignant. In fact, for me, things are bad enough with mother earth that the fact that there hasn't been unmistakeable, healing divine intervention, strongly suggests that there IS no creator, i.e no one foundational, omniscient consciousness behind creation. Or, that if there is one, it is either a fairly unattractive one or a very remote and incomprehensible one, from a human point of view. But, may I be proved wrong! In the meantime, I'm rather glad my dear sister married a guy with your beliefs and values. And that my dearest niece has you for a daddy.