“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be careful about that. After you've not fooled yourself, it's easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.”
Richard Feynman

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman

Then and Now

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Many years ago I had a brief encounter with the Israeli army (like most young men and women I was recruited to regular service – though mine was atypically short). This was not a good time in my life so no fond memories are available from then. I do remember one rainy day in initial training when we were preparing to go to the shooting range. I was charged (together with someone else) with carrying a crate of ammunition. I remember lifting the crate and then a downward movement – the weight of the crate caused me to sink deeper into the mud caused by the rain. Then I remember trying to lift my foot and finding it much heavier then expected due to the huge lump of earth associated with it. Not fun at all.

Yesterday we had excellent rains … light and consistent showers which spectacularly covered the land and all of our crops.  This morning, the moist soil presented an opportunity to do some more planting (especially more potatoes). So we headed outside and had a wonderful couple of hours of work. Everything we planted is mulched (covered with plant remains to keep the soil from drying in the sun and to protect the precious biological life it houses) and just as we were finishing is started raining again.

Numerous times I found myself taking heavy steps … once again carrying healthy chunk of muddy earth with me. This time, however, I didn’t mind it at all. I was working in the mud of my own free will. This time there was a purpose. A purpose I could relate to. A purpose that shed light on the preciousness of the rains and the soil … and the graces which brought my life into this natural abundance. Its so much easier and more pleasant to live a life with a sense of purpose.

I wonder if this is how cob was discovered. The combination of clay-mud and hay makes a very resilient natural substance 🙂

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