Tuesday, May 15, 2007
St. Isidore, pray for us!!
I don't have much experience in the world of farming, but I did spend a solid few years tending an acre of land in Ohio where I grew vegetables and flowers, mulched our fruit trees and built compost piles. I got up every morning to weed and do whatever work there was to do before it got too hot outside. After 2 pm I'd go back outside and work till dusk. All day it was silent, save the sound of the birds, the bees, the distant barking dogs. It was just the earth and myself. I was very in tune with the weather. I always knew when it would rain, when a storm was coming. I can't think of another time in my life when I was more alive, more in-tune with God's voice. I was at peace in my heart, mind and whole being. It was, spiritually, probably the richest time in my life I can remember.
I miss having land to cultivate. However, I am also now a mother of 2 babies and seem to have a lot less time now to devote to anything other than the simple humble, everyday tasks such as cleaning, cooking, laundry, diapers and nursing. I don't think I'd be capable of tending lots of land right now anyway! I have a new path to holiness, which is through my new tasks. However, I still think it very important to get one's hands in the dirt every so often. In Russia, as Catherine Doherty points out, a farmer is called Krestianin. This means "Christian", which fits: a farmer should be the epitome of a Christian. Farmers, Shepherds and such live very close to the natural created world in which there is unique peace-- one which is hard to find amidst our noisy culture of today. I may not be able to be a farmer, but I can try to find those bits of peace and give them to my children through doing little bits of contemplative gardening outside in our little suburban plot of dirt here in our own backyard.
Here, working with what we have, we have taken out the old play structure and replaced it with a large portion of dirt, which is now our vegetable garden. (We can always go to the playground!)We compost all vegetable matter, which I carry out and top with leaves. Currently I have lots of large containers going for this decomposition step, but within a few weeks I hope to "build" a compost pile, using wet matter and dry matter, with the help of the sun. We have wildflowers, herbs and berries bordering the yard and now perennials in large pot containers to cheer up our tiny concrete patio. I'd like to have goats and chickens, too-- just to get our neighbors out of their little suburban comfort zone-- ;)-- but for now this is enough. It is enough to stay in touch with the outdoor world, trying to hear the geese, the birds, the bees in the midst of the deafening silence of Suburbia.
Prayer to St. Isidore the Farmer:
Lord God, all creation is yours, and you call us to serve you by caring for the gifts that surround us. May the example of St. Isidore urge us to share our food with the hungry and to work for the salvation of mankind. Amen.
Labels: feastdays, Reflections
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