August - Lavish Earth, Living Earth
It was toward the end of June, and I had just come home from the Urban Farm Tour which showcased unique farms in the city of Alton and the village of Godfrey, Illinois. Sitting down for a rest, I picked up a book and was greeted with this quote, The lavish Earth heaps up her riches and her gentle foods and offers you dainties without blood and without slaughter.(Ovid, Metamorphoses) What a poignant comment on all I had just experienced! Each gentle farmer I met was so proud of the fruits, vegetables, and herbs served up by our living Earth with the help of her/his hands. The tour was not promoted as organic, but each farmer made it a point to say he or she did not use herbicides or pesticides.
One farmer did not even irrigate; rather, he said, “I rely on God’s water”. Even though we were in a drought, as mentioned by more than one farmer, this man’s garden, pictured here, was a profusion of beautiful vegetables which did not seem to be suffering from lack of rain. Willy was the last of the eight farmers we visited, and he inspired me most of all. He works his extensive garden by himself, and it is mostly weedless! I asked him what he does with all the bounty, since I didn’t see a farm stand nearby. He told me he lives across the street, and if passersby want vegetables, they simply knock on the door, and he harvests for them. Just like that, the freshest organically grown vegetables picked by his hand and placed into theirs. Sustainably grown, healthy and delicious dainties without blood and without slaughter, according to Ovid!
The impact of the entire experience of the Urban Farm Tour called to mind another book I’m reading, Evolutionary Faith by Diarmuid O'Murchu. He writes, The Earth is fond of life, to such a degree, in fact, that it is quite amazing that scientists ever could conclude that it is made of dead, inert matter…There is much to suggest that it is only in the past 5000 years that we have seriously deviated from our intuitive sense that we inhabit a living organism from which we draw life and sustenance at all times.
Lavish Earth, Living Earth – this has become my mantra for the time being, and I feel it in my bones and experienced it during the farm tour. Indeed, how could our lavish Earth be other than alive! Lavish Earth, Living Earth, thank you.
May our lives reflect the aliveness you are and the Sacred Aliveness from which all life comes into being.