Meanderings

Back Pack

I need a new backpack but can't afford one.

I wonder if it would be cheaper to hire a little guy and carry him on my back while he carried my stuff for me.

It might work but who'd carry his stuff while he was carrying mine? Even a backpack's got to eat.

That's just nonsense.

News? Not much.

 Mr Bush is still out there buzzing about like a bum note in a guitar solo. The political world and the media are talking casually of impeachment like it's one of those garden chores they'll get round to eventually. Like weeding. American politics could do with a bit of weeding.

The trouble with bad notes is that no matter how awful they are, the listener will eventually tune them out till they are an integral part of the song. And that is the danger of bad politics in a good system.

Then there's urban sprawl.

People, new to an area, have trouble visualising that their fresh out the packet condominium was in fact a tract of forest in a secluded valley several miles from town not 6 month previously. They see it only as they have always seen it. An urban reality with no trace of history attached. The builders, like the pharoahs, have disappeared and left no paper trail. There is something ghostly about the emergence of a new housing development: the way it grows imperceptively each day while you're not looking. it's like watching the hands of a clock. They refuse to move then you blink and suddenly the kettle has boiled and cooled to room temperature as if that new cluster had always there.

How else could it ever have looked?

I am of course talking about Bellingham. The little town that seems to be on steroids. Solid muscle bursting from its tiny frame with nowhere to stretch except along the shores and up into the mountains. 

In the south of town they are building right outside my front door. Next door to the right, they are about to erect 3 houses. Just beyond the highway on the padden Lake Hill, they have mapped it out for housing. Down the street towards Fairhaven there is a tract of approx 80 acres of forest that is slated to be replaced by a housing development. I've walked in there with my dog almost everyday for a long time. It's a very peaceful place. Second growth forest.There's a little herd of deer, and woodpeckers and squirrels and a big owl who attacks us every year around September.

When my son was less than a few days old, we brought him to the woods. He slept quetly as I carried him in a sling while my dog wandered around. Maybe I'm just an old hippie but I know that this is a special place. What's special about a housing development? I haven't recently become aware of a sudden surge of homelessness sweeping through Bellingham. So who are these houses for? Are people crying out in dispair for roofs over their heads? Even if they were, since when did developers worry about the homeless?

Well I'm just glad my dog is growing old because soon there's going to be nowhere to walk him. I guess I won't need that backpack.