Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Feelin' It (the vision)

I am such a nerd, loving homework again. This time it's homework we created for ourselves: to come up with separate goals, and then meet tonight to talk about them and unify statements into one joint goal. Goal, you say? Say it like the World Cup. GOOOOOOOOOOOOAL! Not just any goal, mind you. We're talking Holistic Goal. Thank you, Allan Savory and Jody Butterfield. These smart folks, whose work it is to help people figure out "what they want to do," wrote a book all about holistic management. Fortunately for us, they focus on issues of ecology and agriculture. I have been told many times that the first step to creating a business plan is to establish my vision, and create some goals out of that. Up until now, that has all seemed so convoluted. I mean, my vision has changed so much in the past five years. How could it help me go forward? This book is really helping us, because it reminds us to stay general at first, to dream a lot. It tells us that what we want is attainable, only more so if we write it down.

The Holistic Goal happens in three parts: a quality of life statement, forms of production, and future resource base. You can also write a Statement of Purpose, which is supposed to be short and sweet. I feel pretty sure about all of them. My rough copy of quality of life is as follows:

To be engaged in meaningful work, to be secure financially, physically, and emotionally. To maintain good health, to feel spiritually safe and secure. To raise a happy, healthy family in a natural environment that fosters creativity, learning, and love. To engage with plants and animals in a way that is mutually beneficial. To be respectful of life around me, and to be respected and liked for my work ethic and compassion. To work and reside in peaceful, beautiful environs. To enjoy what I do every day.

Do I detect a little cynicism? It was there, in me, but then I failed to find a single reason why I should NOT enjoy what I do every day. It's not that I believe I am entitled, privileged. I intend to work for all of it.

I'll include the "forms of production" and "future resource base" at a later date.

My statement of purpose came to me as "to nourish my family and community." It came to me so quickly that I'm having trouble trusting it, but it could possibly be the one. Anyhow, am leaving it for now.

I've been walking a lot more lately, around the little triangle here at East Hill Farm, and then out onto the stretch that opens up at the Ponds' pastures. Looking southeast, I can see hill after hill, a rolling, bumpy landscape tucked in between two closer hills. On a clear day like today, Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire is visible. The road between these pastures is so exposed, and when there's wind, it's wicked. It once blew the buttons off Mary Callanan's coat! They are some beautiful pastures, and I am having heavy dreams these days of pasturing cattle out there. I have always been a dreamer, but lately I've been doing it without guilt, without reserve. It seems to keep my spirits up. I am also more practical than I have ever been before, so that boosts the spirits, too.

At Lisa's the first five dry cows went out today to their own paddock to eat first-cut hay and mope. Babies in March! Oliver is outside, bucking up firewood. Tonight we are going to eat the last of Brigham's buttercup, sausage, and coconut tapioca pudding. They are predicting 8-14 inches of snow in our area for tomorrow, but Nate Pond said he thinks we'll only get six.

In peace,

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