whose hands reach into the ground and sprout,
to him the soil is a divine drug. He enters into death
yearly, and comes back rejoicing. He has seen the light lie down
in the dung heap, and rise again in the corn.
His thought passes along the row ends like a mole.
What miraculous seed has he swallowed
that the unending sentence of his love flows out of his mouth
like a vine clinging in the sunlight, and like water
descending in the dark?" Wendell Berry
I've been reading bits and pieces from Wendell Berry for a few years now. I love his writings and his poems. I love the content as well as the artful way in which he writes. I feel a connection with him in regards to the things that move him....the joy-filled wonder of things, as well as the devastating things he sees happening to the things he and I see as valuable, and how they often lose out to things of much lesser value.
I grew up on a farm. Didn't have the appreciation for it then like I do today. Let's just say that I was a bit young and ignorant. I did love the money created by the 15 acres my dad would give to myself and my brothers for our help farming the 800 to 1000 acres we farmed, even if the work was tiring and long during the season. I also loved the bounty of fresh homegrown produce that would come from the acre garden we would always help our mom plant every spring and would help care for throughout the growing season. Today, I really have no desire to be a full-time farmer working the land and counting on the weather to cooporate in order to provide the necessities for my family, but I have felt a strong call back to the ground from which life springs, and is dependent, and a way of living more in harmony with it. And I also feel a deep pain more and more as my eyes are opened to the ravaged path of independence humans get caught up in that leaves us ignorantly trampling under foot everything that is of value. All of these things seems to now be serving a bigger purpose in me. It helps in the process of removing the lesser things that had distracted me for many years. And as I continue to leave the path (way of thinking) that had distracted me, and return to one more closely aligned with many of the things of my youth and the eternal echo of my soul...I find that my battered heart and mind and soul are being healed and I am feeling more human and creaturely again.
THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS
"When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free." Wendell Berry