Land Steward

I have a couple of items growing in the garden that I have been meaning to write about for a few days. For one reason or another it seemed a bit too much like work and for the most part gardening and keeping this blog have never really held that sort of weight. Don't get me wrong it certainly is work but it is a work I enjoy and am normally willing to do both to exhaustion. I decided instead of writing that I was going to simply walk in the gardens and enjoy my little plots. The garden is where I wash away my troubles, the dirt drinks in my stress and leaves me feeling whole, positive and connected to something larger in the universe.

I have lots of big plans, as do most people. I want to raise honey bees, I want to have my own chickens, maybe even a few goats and a pig or two. At this stage in life it is not possible, we live in town and there is no large piece of land in the country waiting for us. But while I was walking to the main garden I started thinking about a book I am currently reading by Shepherd Ogden called Organic Vegetable Gardening. In it he uses the term land steward and I immediately found myself able to relate to it. As I have mentioned before there are a number of reasons that I garden but on some level it has to do with a base desire to nurture nature. It is one of the healthiest relationships I have strangely enough, I'm still not sure if that is a positive or negative. I believe, I hope that in a sense when I am nourished with the beauty of the garden I am able to fill others with positive energy. It lifts shadows for me and reminds me that time is limited and there is only room for love. It also reminds me that I need to take an interest in the here and now and not always look to the future. Those other things will eventually fall into place. Right now I have a glorious little spot that allows my family a freedom not necessarily available to all of us.

People talk about the meditative power of nature, the silence that surrounds us in that open space. The irony is that when one is blending their being into the natural fabric of the world around them there are an array of noises, they simply compliment one another so well that on some level it is as though they are not even there. The crack of insect wings as they sail by your sweaty brow on their way to some important task. The fast breathing toad suddenly exposed when a leaf is moved to the side, studying you motionless, wondering if you are friend or foe. The strange and wonderful dialect and songs of the woodpeckers and the morning doves, the robins and blue jays. The curious glance of the Crows and the rustling of dense foliage as rabbits and groundhogs keep their distance, safe for quick escapes. Wind running along the leaves like the fingers of a musician on some giant living harp and the wind chimes gently colliding in the background of sound, anointing the temple. Though I certainly voice no complaints when the warm sun blankets my bare skin in the garden it is still a moment of divine peace even if my boots are caked in mud and there is a heavy drizzle of rain. I work my little corner of earth and she rewards me with tranquility of soul. She feeds my family and she teaches my children the value of respect and love. She rewards our senses with magnificent blooms, seductive scents and a banquet of amazing food. In return I simply have to notice her and respect her.

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here


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