19 October 2014

Leaning Left - Missoula, Montana

“As I follow the fence line, I am carried even further back in time to when perhaps my great grandfather, or more likely, my grandfather, my granduncles, or a forgotten hired man did as I am doing.…The wire in my hands goes back to the time when my family still used horses to work the fields and pull wagons, and when steam tractors were the advancing technology.…

In those days, cedar posts were often used to make corner posts. Gnarly with age, weathered by wind and rain, and covered with mold and lichen, they often are leaning, as if rotted out. But I know that if I pull them out of the ground, and scrape the dirt away, the wood will look as fresh as the day they were buried. …

Even though the cedar posts haven’t rotted, the pull of the wire over the decades has been slowly, perhaps a hair’s breadth a year, levering them out of the ground, leaving them barely anchored. Too often, I find myself replacing them with new corner posts that won’t last a faction of the time, erasing the mistakes of the past. “ - from
Harbingers of the Next CenturyBy Wade Sikorski
For further reflection on his family’s ranching legacy and future, you can access the entire essay

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