(Excerpt from Mad Farmer in the City)
As my first blow against it, I would not stay.
As my second, I learned to live without it.
As my third, I went back one day and saw
that my departure had left a little hole
where some of its strength was flowing out,
and I heard the earth singing beneath the street.
Singing quietly myself, I followed the song
among traffic. Everywhere I went, singing,
following the song, the stones cracked,
and I heard it stronger. - Wendell Berry
This is part of the reason I am here spending my days gardening. I am learning to live without the city. As much as I can at least. The baby pears (see right) are singing loudly. Some days I go into town and the singing is softer but I can still hear it. I want to be where the music echos in my ears all day long. I want to see the cycles. The bees carrying pollen like little puff pants from blossom to blossom, and the blossoms turning to fruit and the fruit to food. And back to compost.
Saturday was one of the most beautiful days we have had in a while and I spent the bulk of it at the beach, along with everyone else in Marin it seems. But it didn't bother me, how can I blame anyone for wanting to be out in the sun surrounded by natural beauty so breathtaking it feels like you are in a different dimension. It was so warm I actually swam in the ocean, which as you may know, out here in the Pacific is usually way too cold. I even saw a seal!
I spent the morning visiting the garden with eyes of motherly love. I spend the week working, concentrating on very specific tasks and small patches of the land. Saturday was a time to step back and see how everything was doing. My heart swelled with pride. Not in the work that I have done but pride to have the honor of working with this universe of living creatures. I am fully aware that I am only a very small part in that world. With summer approaching the energy seems to be mounting. You can just feel the plants preparing to flower and bloom. The roses have buds, the orchard has been flowering and will soon turn to baby fruit, the German irises are beginning to open. And we little gardeners continue to strive unceasingly to prepare more beds for planting. We pulled out about 20 boxes of dahlia tubers from the Cloud Hall basement to get them ready for their rebirth. These tubers (different than bulbs like tulips or garlic) look like a bunch of potatoes, with eyes and everything. They get pulled out of the ground at the end of the season, packed in straw and put in the basement for the winter. When we pull them out, little shoots are popping out of the "eyes," we pull them apart (sort of like splitting cells) and we will replant them in many many beds.
Sunday was earth day. We had a beautiful outdoor ceremony honoring the creatures we live with and those in despair. Jiryu gave an amazing talk reminding us what to do in the face of earth's destruction. Rather than go into specifics he reminded us that three buddhist insights can guide our way. 1) What we do matters, 2) (maybe more important) how we do it matters, and 3) exploring and knowing who we are is essential to do right by the first two insights. So I will "continue to continue" in the words of Sara Davis. Doing my part the best way I know how.