Happy Dance

Natural food is abundant, so I haven’t been feeding the birds for the past few weeks. When I put the feeder up after a lapse like that, it often takes a while for the birds to rediscover it and get the word out. Not so today. A Cardinal jumped right in, did a little happy dance, and flew off to tell others.

A few months ago, a man arrived on the scene and bought up a few hundred acres nearby. His “dream” was an outdoor gun range two doors down from my home. He didn’t ask his neighbors. He just decided, on his own, that two or three thousand shotgun blasts a day should not cause us a problem. 

It turned out that hundreds of us saw it as a problem, and we decided to fight. We were united in the belief that we had something special here. We had invested our money and our family’s lives in this little piece of heaven, and we knew it was threatened. In other places, people might have just shrugged it off, and the noisemaker would have his way. But here, my neighbors and I sounded the alarm. We knew what was at stake. We knew what we could lose. The shared recognition of the beauty and peace of our environment brought together a diverse group of people from miles around to raise their hands and say “No!”

Looming in our minds is the possibility that the wealthy noisemaker might re-file his proposal and spread enough of his money around to get his way. He could also appeal the decision in court. Or, perhaps he’ll find another obnoxious use for his land as some of the moronic internet trolls wish. Those are worries for another day. Today is victory day. My neighbors and I are elated and relieved. 

The sound of the chairman of the Oldham County Board of Adjustments dropping his gavel with the word “Rejected!” was beautiful. But today’s sound of late summer cicadas, blending with birdsong and the sacred quiet, are the fruits of our victory.

Thought In Memory Of Thomas Brown

“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”

J.R.R. Tolkien