Sabbath In The Woods

One of the trails by Pugh Cabin
One of the trails by Pugh Cabin

This Sabbath is our local church group’s bi-annual meeting in a log cabin (it’s a very nice cabin made out of old pine electric poles with meeting room and a kitchen). We have a potluck (I baked blond brownies) and, if the weather holds, we’ll have a chance to go walking on some lovely hiking trails.

I don’t think there’s any better place to spend the Sabbath than surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork,” and the same can be said of the earth (Ps. 19:1).

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse (Rom 1:20).

This passage always amazes me. It seems to be saying that even if we didn’t have the Bible, there’s enough evidence in the world around us to reveal God. And yet, the people who spend their lives studying the world come up with some pretty bizzar theories to explain away God. For example, here’s a passage from Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Impossible:

There are scores of “accidents” involving the constants of nature that allow for life. Apparently, our universe lives in a “Goldilocks zone” of many parameters, all of which are “fine-tuned” to allow for life. So either we are left with the conclusion that there is a God of some sort who has chosen our universe to be “just right” to allow for life, or there are billions of parallel universes, many of them dead. (page 240-241)

What amazes me is that when confronted with the option to believe in God or the multiverse, so many people would rather believe “there are trillions upon trillions of possible universes” (page 239). If this version of string theory were correct, these universes are like soap bubbles floating in “eleven-dimensional hyperspace. These bubbles can join with other bubbles, split apart, and even pop into existence and disappear” (page 239). And apparently this makes more sense than believing in God.

Perhaps Dr. J Budziszewski was right when he said, “Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that one must be highly intelligent and educated to commit” (Escape from Nihilism).

I <3 Yurts

So, I realized that I subtitled this blog “Thoughts about everything from cooking to yurts to Jesus” and I haven’t yet mentioned yurts at all. I’ve been talking to so many people about them in person that I keep forgetting to write something.

Yurts: Living In The Round by Becky Kemery
A book about yurts

For those of you who don’t know (as I didn’t just a few months ago), a yurt is a round structure based on several types of houses used by nomads in Asia. The basic design is a circular lattice all with a door frame topped by roof beams that attach to a center ring. Traditionally, the wood frame is covered by felts. Modern yurts use architectural fabrics and NASA-inspired insulation, or permanent walls.

I’ve always been drawn to round spaces: Hobbit holes, gazebos, outdoor spaces with curved hedges or plants for “walls.” Looking back though one of my sketch books, I realized I was dreaming about yurts even before I had any idea that’s what they were called. This sketch is from a dream I had and features a little fairy house topped by a hibiscus flower.

sketch of a fairy yurt on shelf fungus with hibiscus roof
Fairy yurt on shelf fungus

Why yurts? Maybe it has something to do with what yurt designer Morgan Reiter said in the book I just finished reading.

Shortly after I started to build yurts as a business, we did a home show where we set up a demonstration yurt. People would walk in, look around, and then comment on how good it felt. I remember a woman leaning over to her husband and saying, ‘I love the way this feels!’ it was the first time I’d ever seen a building produce an emotional reaction.

When we’d do a home show with rectilinear models, people would make comments like ‘love your work, nice lines’ or ‘nice trim work,’ but we’d never get an emotional response. I realized that conventional construction can look nice, but with the yurt there is a ‘feel.’ an epiphany of sorts.

Maybe people really do feel more comfortable in places with curves instead of angles. After all, God didn’t create many things with harsh angles in nature. Rivers curve, trees have round trunks, even the earth is a sphere. Rocks and mountains can have sharp angles, but I don’t really think they feel very cozy.