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aka Big Mama,
“This situation is going to call for a lot of patience. To be patient in an emergency is a real trial.” --Wendell Berry
What I hunger for, and what I believe the world hungers for these days, is a generous portion of love served up with a spicy side dish of anger.
It may be all the creation stories that I’ve been reading, but I am overtaken with the desire to start planting fruit trees this fall. Perhaps it's because tending vegetables in the garden is so time-consuming compared with caring for and harvesting fruit from trees. Perhaps it's because I’m wanting to put deeper roots down as we enter our third year of living in Eugene. Or perhaps loving fresh apples, cherries, plums, and pears is reason enough. With the coming of each spring, and each fall, an new project bubbles up from within me to try on this patch of earth we call home.
"We're in the business of creating a miracle here on earth." – Charles Eisenstein
What is it like to be in the midst of a miracle? The idea of a miracle sounds so warm and delicious, the kind of thing you would aspire to experience in a minute, right? Well, in fact, here on earth we are in the middle of miracle school, whether you remember enrolling or not. And, much like life itself (a miracle in its own right), it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
Today marks the summer solstice. The light will reign for 16 hours and 36 minutes in Eugene on this, the longest of days. In this busy, bright, ripening season on the farm, I have only fragments of reflection to offer. May you catch glimpses of the strange beauty in your midst as you go about life on this solstice day.
I've been thinking a lot about how to affect systemic change in the face of the vast, overwhelming environmental crises facing us as a species, like that of global climate change. And my ongoing meditation about climate change, interestingly, has been shaped by my health challenges. You see, I recently discovered that I have an autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s Syndrome, in which the immune system attacks the moisture-producing glands of the body, particularly the mouth and eyes.
Last year, I took my seven-year-old son, Ian, to see a documentary about bees called Queen of the Sun. The movie cataloged the various problems facing honey bees in our world, and likely moved on to tell inspiring stories of folks working to solve the crisis, but I wouldn't know. I didn't get to see the end of it.
This morning as I was pouring maple syrup on my waffles, I thought of a Facebook friend of mine in Iowa who not only has beehives, but maple trees which she taps for syrup. Her next-door neighbor recently leveled all of his remaining maple trees in order to plant more rows of corn on his farm. The price of corn is at an all-time high, due to last-year’s drought and due to increased demand, in part for ethanol production. A cruel irony abounds as many small farmers, not just huge corporate agribusinesses, convert all their remaining land to crops of corn.
Humility, derived from the Latin humus, meaning “soil, earth.” I've been thinking a lot about humility lately, particularly now that I have begun a daily writing discipline this year, in hopes of writing a book.
It’s been a while since I last posted, so it seems that a bit of a farm update is in order. Our young hens are now laying up to six eggs a day, which is pretty impressive given how little light the days bring, and how cold it has been this January. Our roosters, Cecil and Mr. Jimmy both know how to crow now, after some weeks of strange, garbled sounds as they practiced and perfected their crows.