“Everything that is really great and INSPIRING is CREATED by the INDIVIDUAL who can LABOR in FREEDOM.”
In this quote, Einstein pulls together several of my most cherished themes (emphasis is mine). I feel most inspired when I can create something with my own mind and hands. It may not be ground breaking to someone else. But to me, it is beautiful. It makes my life happy. I feel inspired.
Yesterday was one such example. I worked all day beside my neighbor, Joe. We put up the frame for a dock on my brother’s pond. That simple installation was part of several other solutions. We now have an inexpensive valve system for a 4″ pipe that won’t freeze and break in the winter, a place to fish from in the summer and overflow control for the dam. I can look forward to extending that big pipe from the bottom of the dam to a micro-hydro generator. I think we finished it in time to let the pond re-fill before summer sets in and to stock it with lots of catfish. All together, it’s a very simple, yet elegant solution that took time and several iterations to figure out and implement, culminating in a sense of satisfaction.
We also restarted the wood furnace and routed hot water through an old car radiator with a fan behind it to heat a greenhouse cold frame tunnel within the bigger greenhouse. I was surprised by the amount of heat it puts out and how efficient the solution is. I went to bed last night feeling good. What a blessing it is to be able to work and create on my own land with my own hands. One of the reasons it is important for Villagers to own their land is that essential element of personal accountability. Without that, it becomes too easy in an intentional community to expect others to carry the load. One must give in order to receive. As the scripture says, “Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread … of the laborer.” Upon achieving a measure of self-sufficiency based on one’s own labors, it becomes even more fulfilling to help others.
Finally, Einstein speaks of freedom. How wonderful to be able to make my own choices and either enjoy or suffer the consequences of my own thoughts and actions. Out in the country, I feel so much more free than in a suburb where everyone is looking over my shoulder, judging every action or inaction, and the epitome of creative labor is how well and often my lawn is mowed.