Quiet Sunday

Spring is in the air. I could tell because the common gulls, Laurus canus (L. 1758) were making a lot of noise on their return from Portugal.

The common gull Larus canus, in Stavern (Photo: Arnstein Rønning, 2010)

While noisy, they were unable to compete with a motorcyclist exercizing his right to pollute the landscape with noise as well as fossil fuels, and leaving in his wake unnecessary carbon dioxide, that upcoming generations will have to deal with. I estimate I could hear this one motorcyclist for four minutes as he approached then drove across Skarnsund Bridge, then continued his meaningless journey almost to Mosvik village, where he became inaudible. I dream of a day when fossil-fueled motorcycles will be replaced by silent electrified variants, autonomously driven – for good measure.

Having made yet another unnecessary trip to our own municipal centre yesterday, with a fossil fueled vehicle, I can be perceived as the hypocrite I am. It is at times like these that a quote from the Bible comes in handy, and is so easy. No need to actually read or own a Bible because Google can find anything: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7) https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/John%208%3A7 (Here, 59 different versions of the Bible are provided, so it is just to find the first and the best that suit your needs.)

We are living in stressful times, and it is necessary for everyone to take back control. I may be so addicted to digital media and Duolingo points, that I am unable to keep my hands off a keyboard one day a week. However, I can reduce, if not eliminate, the noise I produce on Sundays.

The choice of Sunday has already been made for me, since I live in a nominally Christian society.

The Unit One workshop is a major source of noise. Rather than just turning off power to the entire shop, I have decided to re-enact my own first industrial job, working cleanup on Saturdays at the Brownlee sawmill in North Surrey, I will use Sundays for workshop cleanup.

Brownlee specialized in making red alder (Alnus rubra) products. These have a unique but attractive odor. It “… comprises 60 percent of the total hardwood volume in the Pacific Northwest, and is by far the most valuable hardwood in term of diversity of products, commercial value, and manufacturing employment.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alnus_rubra

Temperate rainforest with Picea sitchensis (tall trees), Alnus rubra and Salix spp., Kitlope, British Columbia. (Photo: Sam Beebe-John, 2009)

Rather than taking my breaks with the stationary engineer providing steam to the mill’s drying kilns, I could take my breaks with my long-suffering wife, Trish, who might have a few milliseconds to spare from baking.

Once the workshop has been cleaned, there are other areas that could benefit from attention. In particular, I think of my desk, that uses magnetic forces to attract clutter.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and I will be able to put these principles into practice. It will be a low-key affair, without brass bands or ribbon cutting ceremonies. Hopefully, nobody will even notice the changes.