Monday, October 3, 2011

Healing Spaces

‎"I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods."
-- Wendell Berry (Kentucky farmer, poet, activist)

This quote by Wendell Berry was posted up today on the Facebook page for the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Educational Services (MOSES).  Dick and I attend their annual conference at the end of February (in wonderful LaCrosse, WI, where the weather is totally unpredictable at that time of year!), the largest conference in the country for organic farmers.

I have one more 'public gig' and then can hopefully settle into 'ground of my own', which extends to include my own community.  :-)

Even climbing the stairs into the loft of our barn is healing on a cool fall day when the sun is streaming in through the translucent side panels providing both light and warmth.

That's where I am off to in just a few minutes, after spending the morning trying to catch up ('inch by inch, row by row') on some of my back-logged email, paying a few bills, making travel reservations, etc.

I recently noticed that one of my sons listed Wendell Berry as 'inspirational' on his Facebook page. That made a mother feel as though she was in the healing shadow of the woods or up in the warm loft of her barn on a cool October day. :-)

(Photo: Our barn viewed from the west with the afternoon sun shining through its upper panels (see below). We built this barn with a west-facing porch to sit and enjoy the sunset. We'll do that one of these days/years! I do love sitting on this rock however, which will provide a great view of our pond that is currently 'under construction'.)
(Photo: The loft of our barn, with sun streaming in the translucent panels on the right (west side). There is very little 'market' garlic still unsold. Most of what you can see at the south end of the barn is our saved seed stock. I love cleaning garlic up here on a cool day, out of the wind that whistles through the open doors below.)

I consider these healing spaces for me. I hope you have some special places for yourself, no matter how big or how small or how close or far away, places that are restorative or just give you that 'peaceful, easy feeling' (dating myself back to one of my favorite songs by The Eagles).  

I have realized one thing (again, maybe a 'lesson learned') - nothing and no place on a working farm will be 'tidy'. Those picture perfect farms must be a myth. They are not the reality I live in or know!

"Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row"

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Kateri said...

I love this post. :) Never thought of certain places as healing places before. I just wrote a post (to be published tommorrow) on how the role the woods has played in my is sort of along these same lines.

Love the photos of your barn as well.

Elaine said...

Oh my gosh. Before I read Kateri's comment, I began composing one in my mind and it started with "I love this post..."! I continued with "I must save and tag it as a 'classic'...."

So much truth & beauty & inspiration in this brief reflection! Wendell Berry; your own heartfelt, evocative prose; photographs of your wonderful barn and garlic; words of wisdom that challenge me to live a deeper, more connected life. I'm so grateful you share your heart and mind with us, your readers.

I thought of you on Sunday morning when at my community garden plot I planted my first-ever garlic crop.

Heh, heh. My garden will never be tidy either.