Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good Practice

"Mommy, are you sleeping out there?" I heard my daughter call from the back door. My eyes were open; she must have picked-up on the stillness. What is it about sitting down by the chickens that slows my breath and nudges my mind past thought? I watch it come over the kids sometimes...the eyes seeing everything and nothing for a moment as they hold a bird and listen to the sounds of the flock.

The same thing is experienced sitting within a herd of horses, or cows. After initial observation, the mind accepts the movements and sounds as a sort of rhythm. Even the occasional squabble rolls into the pattern. You are aware of it all, but without surface level thought. Could we say it's a moment of transcendental consciousness?  I think time spent with the healthy herd or flock can ease us into this state of relaxation. The dramas of the human experience are reflected in the animal kingdom; we can see them cycle and resolve, but aren't pulled into unnecessary action or judgment. We are invited to share the time and space without attachment. Good practice.
Seven Roosters – Japanese Woodblock Print by Hokusai. Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎, 1760 – 1849)


Thursday, August 18, 2011

one year

"A change of heart or of values without a practice is only another pointless luxury of a passively consumptive way of life."

- Wendell Berry

Today I noticed a sweater hanging on the hook in the hall; it was pulled out on one of the first chilly evenings spent star gazing in the back yard recently. This reminded me that in September it will be one year since our move. We've made it through a cycle.

I am thankful for the inner push that wouldn't quiet till it had come home. I used to feel that I struggled with impatience; I don't feel that any more.

What a year on this little farmette....small steps in the right direction.

Children going slowly and syncing into place

wearing out their boots

growing things


"It is possible, as I have learned again and again, to be in one's place, in such company, wild or domestic, and with such pleasure, that one cannot think of another place that one would prefer to be - or of another place at all." - Wendell Berry


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