Early morning bird calls are reminders that my busyness within me too often misses the world outside of me.
It’s a quiet Sunday morning and I walk the perimeter of the cottage land. Our tiny triangle of dreams. Life is all around, from the birds calling and feasting by the fairy lights as I scoot past them to get a look at the little bunny family now prepared to feast at the table of spinach I put out for them with lettuce leaves. (the garden isn’t up yet) Yes I’m the one who went to the market to keep them feasting.
Not long ago I saw a family of foxes in New York, and though they were far away, kind folks shared their lense to let me see what they saw. I didn’t know foxes burrowed, so now I have found where the little fox on this property lives too. It’s actually in the land next door where there are some brambles between the homeplaces.
Learning is such a good thing. Usually, I get to learn lessons the hard way for I’m a stubborn creature who prefers to see the good in folks, in every situation, but oh how I try not have to learn everything the hard way. Wisdom matters..
This weekend was such a fun example of perfect strangers coming together through shared interests and desires to live the kind of life we desire to live.
We’re still strangers, newcomers to this area of the country though I was here 27 years ago (well, 45 miles away in Fayetteville) and Les grew up near here in the opposite direction of Blue Jacket, OK.
We learned and laughed and took in the beauty of how when folks come together in shared interests, skills, and unity we are all richer for it.
The sun isn’t up yet as I write, it’s a soft morning in the Ozarks, smells like rain, and the trees are leafed out in ways that remind me that God is a creative once again. Just weeks ago these hardwoods were barren, still silhouettes in the morning sunrise sky…now a canopy of picturesque shapes that allow the sun to stream through its branches…and create magical light.
You hear all your life how farming isn’t for sissies, how you can’t survive on the farm without serious amounts of heartbreak and an alternate source of income. We’ve come prepared for that…its very evident the concerns were not unfounded… yet…
Part of what I see continually is that work of the heart matters. Believing in the work you do matters. Protecting our earth matters. Knowing where our fuel for our bodies comes from matters. The experience in Alabama with toxins put into the land by corporations who cared more about profit than people has forever changed me. I didn’t know just how much until this last season.
It’s more than activating to choose a different way of life…of working….of choosing our food’s source for the Berrys. It’s more than working and providing strategy and classes on how to do things that we teach… it’s encouraging families to consider a different way of life. It’s gathering the community for fun, for learning and for fellowship. Part time, full time, every once in a while…it’s all good. There’s been this false narrative for too long, perpetuated by the ill use of screens and streaming technology that says that people, that hearts, that families don’t matter. The implication is that folks focused on who is around their table are dense if they aren’t focused on how to get more more more of everything but family and work that matters in this life. I think perhaps we need a little less screen time and a little more life time…and I am a great believer in the agility of screens to do good….but life is not lived on a screen.
Now don’t get me wrong, I believe money matters. It gives the ability to purchase ease. It’s the world’s reward or verification that you did the work… To have more choices for ease whether its in how you live, where you live, or what you’re able to solve when the count is down.
If the pursuit of status, of income, of klout as a once popular app was called, becomes the focus instead of appreciation, kindness, integrity and care taking of the family… who is first of all our future…and the community….we become very disjointed as a people.
Relationships matter. The Creator has every.single.thing. related in His plan. The weather, the family recreation system, the environment, the ecosystems…He honors systems, he honors relationships and responsibility. At the end of the day we are all accountable for who we are, who we aren’t, and what made it so.
I walk this tiny piece of earth this morning, just enough light to see dimly the shapes as the sun begins to rise…the wheelbarrow left by the garden…the taller grass waiting to be mowed….there’s always something to be mowed in my experience…and the cows lulling me showing off their babes by the fence.
This walk brings wonder and delight. I am humbled as I see every ecosystem, every divine system that was provided for us. Neither you nor I created this earth…nor could we… it’s humbling to think of a Creator who simply creates a world on a whim….galaxies of them.
We each are but one. One heart. One mind. One imperfect, expiring body. One beautiful being on this earth. Yet we are each catalyst of one where ever we are…whatever we do…it is our mark on this world. I think at this season what will my legacy be? Who will know I loved them, who will learn by my hand, who will be comforted by my presence, and how will I use this vast blessing of an opportunity to exist today?
Big thoughts for a small walk.
Maybe a good thing to think about, for these days of ours, are over at the end of each sunset…and without a vision…well the plans not considered never get accomplished….the doors do not get opened…or installed 🙂
This morning the work before us looks endless, the hope and passion within us aware of how much work this life calls for, the knowledge that we will forfeit much by focusing here…and yet…yet…we know deeply that at the end of this life, we want to have been good stewards of the precious gift of life we’ve been given…to be stewards of our land and the community for which we desire to live within.
and so, as the morning sun comes up, I’ll begin where my mother and grandmother and her grandmother began….by gathering our family round the table…preparing for them not only the simple country breakfast we’ll share together…choosing to focus together time together, taking the moments together for bowed head gratitude for the bounty before us…and reminded them each how loved they are. A little wet nose will be jumping at my side the whole time, Mr Bingley will quietly keep near knowing if he’s there the last bite is his. Babe will be by the door, waiting patiently to play ball with us…the light her friend, warming her aging bones…
The table we sit at has been sat at for over 100 years… its patina deep and scarred from families growing up with it…it’s a reminder each meal that someone took the time to see the wood differently, to take the time to create something meaningful that has lasted past his lifetime….past his grandson’s life time…
May we each do the same.