A Cockerel Crows and Choosing a Direction


Carl swears he heard an adolescent rooster attempting to crow yesterday morning. We’ve heard it before. A ca-ca-doodle-cough-cough. Typically, it’s a rather shy and retiring attempt that’s cut off, perhaps, by one of the hens pecking the head of said cockerel because it is way too early in the morning for two roosters to be announcing their cockiness. Go back to bed.

It is raining and foggy. Again. I feel very not off fossil fuels because, due to the lack of sun, our generator has been running daily to recharge the batteries. It’s the conundrum we face as a state, a nation, I will go so far as to say as a species. There’s a lot of talk of shifting to renewables. How to get off fossil fuels even as the fossil fuel companies galvanize to shut down the talk.  It’s expensive. Is it even possible?

To answer that question, I will use Jaffrey as an example. We went to a Select Board meeting last night because the Economic Development director was presenting on what to do with our local brownfield, the WW Cross building. It’s an 11 acre lot that’s been sitting in the midst of town, soaked with cadmium and other goo. The building itself is a wreck of asbestos and broken windows. The owner owes over $250,000 in unpaid taxes and wants out. The town is debating whether to take over the building and the Select Board had asked the ED director to look into what the town might do with the area. She put together a public meeting and then a committee and Carl and I attended the above with other volunteers. We came up with some very exciting and forward thinking ideas that build off Jaffrey’s history as a beautiful rural destination and industrial center. 

At last night’s meeting, it was pointed out by one of the Selectmen that it would be a roll of the dice to take on that property, a risk and an expense. But the conclusion of the discussion was the reality that the town has to act. Leaving the land and building to sit has not miraculously transformed it into a buzzing community center. The town has to leap, roll the dice, take on the burden and work to get through the poisons so as to create a better future. It’s a long term vision, not a short term investment.

Just so things transition in the big picture. Fossil fuels are fast becoming uneconomic. We have only to look to California. That will be all of us, in varying forms, in the next years. The shaky infrastructure is crumbling and needs to be rebuilt. People debate whether it is worth it to get solar panels. To winterize their homes. I think the answer is get prepared, be prepared. Look not to next year but to twenty-five years  from now, and if you are planning on being dead by then? Look to the babies born today. The school children. The college students and dare to look them in the eye. Know that they are like cockerels practicing their crows and it’s not a matter of if, but when.

I fear I get repetitive and dull. I’m working on edits for my book At Crossroads with Chickens. And attempting to find the story in all the ideas I have for my play Triage: An American Experiment in Existential Arbitration. I need to make the time to figure out what this blog space’s purpose is, and what direction to take it. Suggestions are welcome.