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Monday, February 20, 2017

Of leaf mold and faith.

Practice Resurrection

So, friends, everyday do something that won't compute...Give your approval to all you cannot understand...Ask the questions that have no answers. Put your faith in two inches of humus that will build up under the trees every thousand years...Laugh. Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...Practice resurrection.”
Wendell Berry (The Country of Marriage)

The first garden I remember helping my daddy plant was in Morganton, NC, when I was nine years old. We lived in a newly-built, four-room house on a bald of red clay. He wanted a garden, but the soil was the sort used to make bricks and flower pots. So beginning just before Easter, he gave me the task of hauling buckets of leaf-mold—humus, as Mr. Berry calls it—from some nearby woods to the garden plot he roped off with surveyor's line tape. Four buckets a day, no less. I carried my galvanized bucket across several people's back yards, and into the quiet woods to scrape up rich black mulch with my bare hands. It smelled of wet decay, had earthworms in it, and sometimes, grubs, which had to be picked out and left in the woods. I got absolutely filthy, and it made me sneeze, but I knew better than to complain. I filled that plot up with leaf mold. Daddy hacked up the red clay with a pick ax, and worked the black soil in until they blended together, and that garden produced as though it had always been there. Green beans and tomatoes, spring onions and yellow squash. I have faith in humus.

Every day is a lesson in faith, isn't it? World events swirl around us, but if we hold on to our faith in the essential goodness of creation, we remain calm in the midst of the storm. There will always be things that don't compute, conditions we do not understand, and questions with no answers. If we let them, they will strip all the joy from life. Find what you deeply trust, and hold fast to it. I promise, it will grow corn for you.

                                                                In the Spirit,


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