Freedom Funk

Freedom Funk became considerably more pungent this weekend after a grueling day of piling logs for the new addition. Freedom Funk is the smell of the sweat that seeps from one who is working toward personal or societal evolution. To the ordinary olfactory glands, the odors may be offensive, but due to the satisfaction of a job well done, the funk may be (temporarily) accepted as a reward for hard work.

My personal achievement was not so much the pile of logs, now waiting to be transformed into walls. (The pile seems too small for the amount of time spent). Rather, my freedom funk was bearable because behind the wheel of our mighty suburban, I successfully maneouvred a 20 foot trailer, with heavy loads of wood, across a bumpy field, through a maze of seedling elderberry and pecan trees.

This is not a skill you learn in school. And I certainly didn’t pick it up intuitively from childhood experiences, but it is an essential skill for any farmer. The best way to learn is from practice.

Backing up to a wood pile, the car moves one way and the trailer moves the other. Once the trailer is headed the right direction, I slowly counter my original turn, in order to avoid a jack-knife, which could lead to a broken light or worse. Then, we all scramble to load the trailer full of logs. I start the suburban again and it slips and moans under the heavy load. That’s when practice makes perfect. Practice says: put logs in the suburban to counter balance the trailer weight. We add a pile to the back of the suburban and it jerks forward while I serve to miss a baby pecan.

I relax my white knuckle grip from the steering wheel, wipe my sweaty palms on my jeans, and breath a sigh of freedom… until the next load.

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