Monday, June 16, 2008

Hanging by a Thread

Today’s photo is not going to be the most interesting one you’ll see today. I’m okay with that. For me, though, the view in this photo is one I look forward to every morning. The cut from the power line is the first view of the sky I see each morning. Now that the forest is so dense with summer’s leaves, I can’t see the sky at all until I’ve walked out my driveway and down the lane to reach this cut. In winter, I can see over to Nell’s Hill from my cabin, but this time of year I can only see this little sliver of it through the power line cut.

This power line is what brings electricity to my cabin and to my two neighbors and to Ski Roundtop. Because there’s no road of any kind along our power line, I am very subject to losing power because some tree, of which there are thousands, between here and Nell’s Hill has fallen on it. In winter, when there’s snow or ice, even getting to the troubled spot can take hours, let alone clearing the trouble once it’s found. Even in summer, especially at night, I pretty much know nothing is going to be done until daylight. The only vehicles that can reach much of the line are those little maintenance vehicles called ‘Gators, which are kind of like overgrown golf carts.

It's not much of a stretch to say that my power hangs by a thread. Or more precisely, by two threads. Perhaps it's because of this that I am overly sensitive to just how dependent the whole of our modern civilization is on things that are as fragile as two thin wires trailing through a mile or so of forest.

For me, so much of it feels intensely personal. Whenever a grocery store relies on apples shipped in from Guatemala, say, we are relying on the use of oil to get them here. Whenever a factory moves to China, we are relying on oil to be there to ship it across the ocean. What will happen to us when the thread breaks? You know it will break. It always does, eventually. And the result will be far worse than just a night or two without power.


Dana Jones said...

This is the first summer in my cabin. I am surprised at how much darker it is in summer because the trees are so thick.

Carolyn H said...

Dana, Summer at the cabin is a whole different place. It's cooler with the shade of a million tiny leaves to protect me. Darker, too. Sometimes I'm surprised when I'm off the mountain at nightfall and can see how much lighter it is out in the fields than back at the cabin.

Carolyn H.

Ruth said...

Very interesting and thought provoking post.We who live in cities often give no thought to our sources of power, food, etc. And we need to be made aware for sure.

Cicero Sings said...

Somehow bloglines hasn't been showing me your updates ... until this morning it says 11 new posts?!!

Anyway, it is worrisome, all this moving of production off of our own shores! We are really putting far too much power into China's hands ... should she ever decide to pull the pin ... which will happen one day.

We've so much resource ourselves, including people ... enough to be self sufficient nations, that we really don't need to be running elsewhere. We are being sold down the tube!

I'm very glad to live out of the city, a little more savvy about how to make do should tougher times come. City folk ... scary.

Carolyn H said...

Cicero, i don't think it's ever a good thing to rely solely on something from somewhere else, whether it's food or fuel or manufactured goods. Too many people are very complacent right now,especially about fuel, I think. I saw someone idling a minivan for at least 45 minutes this weekend. How stupid is that!

Carolyn H.