One question we must ask ourselves alongside the poem below is about the impact of modern agriculture on the earth. "... By keeping intact its gift of self-renewal, not as our belonging, but asking how we might belong to it, what we might use of it for ourselves, leaving it whole, we may come to live in its time, in which our lives will pass as pass the lives of birds within the lives of trees."
"New come, we took fields from the forest, clearing, breaking the steep slopes. And this was a fall from a kind of grace: from the forest in its long Sabbath, dependent only upon the Genius of this place, to the field dependent upon us, our work, and our failure first and last to keep peace between the naked soil and the rain. From the laws of the First Former we fell to the place deformed. The hard rains fell then into our history, from grace to fate upon our gullied land.
We numbered the years, not many, until the forest took back the failed fields with their scars unhealed and long in healing, our toil forfeit to the trees of a new generation: locust, cedar, box elder, elm, and thorn. In spring the redbud and wild plum, white and pink on the abandoned slopes, granted such beauty as we might have thought forgiving.
By leaving it alone, we are in a manner forgiven. And yet we must wait long, long— how much longer than we will live?—for the return of what is gone, not of the past forever lost, but of health, the promise of life in land remade finally whole.
Left alone, the “pioneer generation” of trees gives way to the oaks, hickories, maples, beeches, poplars of the lasting forest.
——— By keeping intact its gift of self-renewal, not as our belonging, but asking how we might belong to it, what we might use of it for ourselves, leaving it whole, we may come to live in its time, in which our lives will pass as pass the lives of birds within the lives of trees."
--Wendell Berry, Sabbath Poems
In this article I provide you with no answers ... instead I invite you to journey into the forest, to go deeper into your experience of the land ... and see what that experience tells you. In order to heal the land first we must develop a relationship with it.
Then there comes a point in life when we must each go beyond our own musings and experiences and collectively work together for the common good. I invite you to join our Ancient and Sacred Trees communiTree and share what you love. You are welcome to write for us.
I hope you found the above infographic educational and thought provoking and that you enjoyed the other beautiful images here for, as I have said before...
Courting Beauty is an Act of Rebellion and Love the Revolution.
Blessings as always.
Amanda Claire - Group Founder