(The summer was busy and we farmers had little time to update the blog. We'll be posting some of our newsletters & thoughts from the farm in coming days.)
I had a few extra minutes to read a couple poems of Wendell Berry's this past week. Molly was out of town again so in between sorting calves, making hay, moving pigs, receiving new pigs, getting drenched with rain, picking up meat, and all of the normal daily chores, I came across one in particular that I really liked. I encourage you to unplug, go to a quiet area and read this aloud to yourself slowly. So much of Mr. Berry's work is enjoyed this way.
On The Hill Late at Night
The ripe grass heads bend in the starlight
in the soft wind, beneath them the darkness
of the grass, fathomless, the long blades
rising out of the well of time. Cars
travel the valley roads below me, their lights
finding the dark, and racing on. Above
their roar is a silence I have suddenly heard,
and felt the country turn under the stars
toward dawn. I am wholly willing to be here
between the bright silent thousands of stars
and the life of the grass pouring out of the ground.
The hill has grown to me like a foot.
Until I lift the Earth I cannot move.
All of these words are just very, very moving when you truly think about it. Possessing the wherewithal to truly be connected is a powerful and sought after concept. How often are you able to be so content and utterly happy with where you are at any given moment to just be satisfied with that? This short poem leads me to believe that Mr. Berry is looking for nothing more than to be in the surroundings that he currently is. No hoping, grasping, or praying for more. Once we're content and grateful for where we are and what we have, then a whole new World of doors will open. If we're constantly in the more, more, more mindset, it rarely has a positive outcome in the long term. There may be short term benefits, but when you're looking at the big picture, the short term isn't what matters, right?
I long to be in the poem. Under the stars, with the tall grasses swaying back and forth in the moonlight, completely connected to the Earth that I'm sitting on. So much so, that my feet feel weighed down as they too are connected to the Earth. Oftentimes I'm caught up in daily tasks, that I need to remind myself that this is my life. This bucolic existence is what we've created. It needs to be enjoyed. The craziness will be there waiting.
In tune with the cows shuffling about in the field, the pigs rooting for a snack, and the lambs gleefully finding the next fresh patch of clover. This is my reality. Right now. Nothing more. Because we are content. We are grateful. And we are at peace.