Thursday, October 13, 2011

Seeing Through the Poles

When we decided to make our home in this rural paradise called Sonoita, we were very clear on a couple of things: 1) we were going to live a long way from everything – family, shopping, doctors, etc. and 2) the scenic beauty and unlimited views were well worth the disadvantages.

Soon after moving in, we learned that the electric cooperative to which we all belong was planning a major upgrade to service in this area which would involve placing 60’ tall poles to carry the necessary voltage directly in the line of sight of some of our most beautiful viewscapes. As a concerned citizen, I tried to inform myself of the facts, attend forums where the co-op presented their case and the residents of the targeted area spoke of their objections. It often became heated. There were options that would have greatly lessened the impact to our neighborhood but would have had drawbacks for the co-op. I also learned that I have limits to the degree in which I wish to be an activist. I watched some people spend tireless hours and energy trying to fight City Hall, county bureaucrats and corporate intransigence. I was never one of those warriors, though I admired them.

In the long run, the battle to preserve our beautiful views, pristine horizons and rural atmosphere was lost. As one of the long-time residents responded when I whined about the poles, “do you want electricity or don’t you?” She had a point.

The poles are now a fact of our lives. None of us realized that there would be so many of these concrete monoliths. I have not yet been able to drive to town without feeling a combination of sadness and anger at how they have changed our environment. So here is my challenge: how do I learn to see through the poles to still cherish the beauty of this place, free of the angst I now feel?

It is a excellent metaphor for life. Who doesn’t have obstructions that prevent life from being what was planned or desired? When you focus on the obstruction (whatever your “pole” is) you cannot see anything else. The negatives in our lives can make us joyless and despondent, and, worse, convince us that we are powerless to change our feelings.

So my lesson begins. I’ve been told, in various ways, to just let it go...get over it! I know I must. I must drive to town and smile as I always have at the longhorns grazing in the grass, the changing colors of the beautiful Santa Ritas, and the spectacular clouds I love so much. I can do this. I can choose my attitude as easily as I choose my clothes. I can sit on my patio and breathe in the beauty that cannot be negated by a bunch of poles.

What poles?


  1. Nice lesson. Sometimes the poles are just those familiar obstructions inside our souls, those mind parasites we live with far too long. Thanks again for making me think.

  2. i get your metaphore...I hope a lesson was also learned about big business--face it, SSVEC didn't really inform us on how ugly (probably unnecessary) those poles were. By the way the pole behind my house is 100 ft. tall. Sure I look around it and try to imagine that its not there...but it is and will always be there. It doesn't define me- but it does make me angry that companies can have such a negative impact on our lives...So make sure you have a voice with regard to the Rosemont Mine....we want to preserve this area so that generations to come can enjoy the pristine land. Take care Nancy and be well