Friday, February 5, 2016

Remembering a Neighbor...

For about a dozen years I lived on a 200+ acre farm that was about 6 miles in any direction to the nearest town. I'm not a farmer - just rented the old farmhouse. Some of the fields were leased to local farmers who planted corn or soy beans or cut hay. Someone would plow an area for me to garden. And I enjoyed roaming the many acres with my furry friends.
Most of all I loved cutting wood with our neighbor. It was our primary heat for the long winter. He had been a logger and could weave a tractor with a trailer through trees and obstacles with ease. I learned a lot from those logging times. We always went in autumn so when I smell the sweetness of falling leaves, these times come to mind.
What sticks with me the most is the power of collaboration and great generosity. The deal was that we cut two loads for him and one load for me. I had no way of hauling much wood without him and without the knowledge he shared about running and caring for a chainsaw, I could have achieved little.
Usually there were 4 of us; he and I running the chain saws and the other two loading. That collaboration - the teamwork - I'm sure amounted to a great deal more than the 4 could accomplish in a day if working alone. There's something greater than the sum of the individual parts.
As I look back, I hope I gave him a very fair 1 for his 2 because his kindness, generosity and belief in my abilities still mean a lot to me.

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