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The 5th Fire- Sunday Morning and the Choice to do Nothing, A Love Letter to Andrew Hays

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

The fire today is still burning. It's a refining fire.

I was already satisfied with my weekend. At the first feel of good weight, and the shake of her head beneath 5 feet of swift river, I was satisfied.

I was satisfied and I was content. I was content as soon as I took one look at Ethan. Content when I saw Brooke and James making pizza dough. She had sent me a message earlier that day about learning and how children learn by doing, and that doing is noisy, messy, and unpredictable. James' eyes were wide and bright. The flour was up to his elbows :)

It goes back even further, the contentment. It goes back to the realization, earlier in the week that Middle School and Company were way too psyched about the School Dance to focus on the Phylogenetic Tree. Chlorophyll... more like Borophyll :) I think life is all about catching things sooner, and I was pretty quick on this one. I learned from Andrew Hays to size them up for about two minutes before making the call as to how to apply yourself. He's quite a brilliant teacher. And I've never once seen him miss a chance to turn it off and let the kids inform him. So I got them writing on just that subject. It's Biology, but it was easy to let that go for half an hour. The essays and insights that ensued were well-written, presented, and discussed. There was never a better time to relive the dance, and to practice the art of "perspective taking." They relived the dance through the eyes of their peers again and again. Clapping and HANGING ON EVERY WORD!!! It was truly something to see, and I left the class as happy and thrilled as I ever have. Thanks, Mr. Hays for choosing your spots. It's an instinct that is honed over years of working with kids of all ages, and you are a Master.

The contentment of putting your feet in front of a crackling fire. The contentment of the precept about, "Right Work." Content to sit and watch the snow fall.

This fire is so good at cleaning things up and giving perspective. It's like a forest fire set by the Ute people to clear underbrush. Clutter, what clutter? It's like a fire that reminds you of Aldo Leopold sitting by years and years of accumulated BTU's in an old Oak Tree. Quercus virginana, for example. The Live Oak.

This fire is built mostly of Spruce branches from the tree where the Barred Owl lives in Spring. I hadn't touched it until today for obvious reasons, but I thought she would not mind me borrowing enough dead branches from her base. Just enough for a 6-year-old kid to call a fort, a cavern of the mind, a cool, secret place. She will share and not mind.

There are also scraps of 1X3 and 2X4 Douglas Fir. I've created a grid of these, interspersed with thick styrofoam, a sandwich floor, otherwise known as a SIPS panel or SIPS deck:

SIPs are 4- and 8‑inch thick rigid foam panels, sandwiched between two stiff sheathing materials. ... SIP construction can provide higher levels of insulation, air tightness, and strength than traditional framing.

It's definitely working. The Yurt is warm and cozy these days.

Cueballs made of styrofoam and no one's got the time.

This 5th fire is sending a bright, warm light.

Love and light to everyone.

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Beautifully said, Ben. This requires me to examine my earlier family life and conclude that I would love to do it all over again, hopefully a little better. Your path and heading are correct. Keep the compass level.

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