Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Great Mystery

Originally written April 2010...
Suddenly a sadness has overcome me with the realization that my life here at New Moon Farm is quickly coming to an end. I have such wonderful memories of how Dave and I started this little organic farm. On a shoestring, with nothing more than a lot of grand ideas and a dream, we began what would be a decade long odyssey pursuing something that meant the world to both of us.

In the beginning, we had no intention of turning this into a working organic farm. We only wanted to be as sustainable as possible, grow our own organic food and be as "off grid" and self sufficient as we could manage. And we did a pretty good job of it, too. Dave called this New Moon Farm because, as I have quoted before, the new moon in Native American culture signifies new beginnings and endless possibilities and that resonated with us both.

Also, as a very spiritual man, Dave liked the idea that the new moon also represented "The Great Mystery" (God, if you will). Everything that he ever did here was thought out with the guiding hand of that Higher Power in every word and deed. He didn't go to church because he didn't feel comfortable with listening to the subject matter in most of the sermons being given. He believed that to truly find God you had to look within yourself.

He also strongly believed that the clergy had a responsibility and the perfect opportunity to speak to the many growing environmental concerns and overall abuse of this beautiful planet by mankind, as well as man's abuse of himself. It was his opinion that the clergy had influence that would encourage people to pay attention and that the opportunity was being wasted by the vast majority of them. That bothered him a lot and so he chose to be close to the Great Spirit in the earth, the sky, the sea and the wind. He also refused to refer to God as anything but the Creator, the Great Spirit or the Universe but his reasons for that were deeply personal and I won't go into that here. 

Dave was the most spiritual man I have ever known. His intuitive nature enabled him to see things with such clarity that sometimes he astounded me with the depth of his perceptions.  He told me many times that he felt the Presence within himself when he was out working in the fields. Every seed he planted, every spade of dirt he turned, he did in service to God and to his fellow man. That was a pretty powerful motivation for him and it guided every thing that he did in the gardens. He has such a respect for all living things that he said a small prayer each time he turned under a spent crop, thanking it for providing for us.  

He planted by the signs, spiritual ones, that were as clear to him as if they had been written in a manual on how to grow using the Creator's hand.  I wish I had the level of awareness that he had in matters like that.  All I can do is focus on remembering what he taught me over the years and hope that what I do makes him proud. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Grief is a universal emotion, not exclusive to the human race and it makes my heart ache to think that life has to be so brutal. But maybe without knowing loss, without knowing grief we would not realize how very precious life is and we would not cling to it with every fiber of our being. I guess that is what survival instinct really boils down to because even though I hate a lot of my life right now, the alternative scares me to pieces.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tiny Dog versus The Evil 18 Wheeler

It is very early and I take two of my dogs out in the snow. There is no sound because the world is still sleeping under its cold blanket, the one woven in shades of blue and gray.  It is beautiful and oddly comforting to me this morning, even though my feet are freezing in my less than adequate shoes. 

I do not leash the dogs because going out at this very early hour is the only chance that they will have to run free today.  The weather will keep us inside and they will have to be quiet for the sake of others in the house. After being in their nice warm beds, they are cold but it has been a long night and they have been indoors longer than usual. They are eager for relief.  

Both of my dogs are mostly white, with only a little color splashed here and there, so they disappear into the drifts, immediately reappearing, like they are blinking in and out of reality. Diva is the young, impulsive one and she bounds along in the snow like she has springs for legs, occasionally stopping to push her nose down into the snow and coming up snorting, blowing the cold from her black, button nose. The other is my sweet, serious Maggie. She is Diva's mother and she is an intense little dog, always on alert, watching out for something that might need her attention. Diva has run to investigate something interesting on the other side of the yard but Maggie ignores her.  No time for play now.  She has a job to do and trots purposefully ahead of me.

As we walk, we round the side of the house and there is an 18-wheeler parked there. The driver is talking on his cell phone, back lit by the street lamp behind him so I can only see his silhouette. He is smoking a cigarette and I see the red tip of it brighten as he inhales. The rumbling vibration of the truck's engine makes the ground shudder under the snow and Maggie,  who weighs all of 10 lbs on a good day, runs over to confront this "monster" that might be threatening her people. She was raised a farm dog and knows what she needs to do. 

A monstrous mountain of steel, puffing and belching and growling and she confronts it without hesitation. It is a thousand times her size but I can read her intent from her posture. She does not bark. She stands like a statue for moment and then lifts her head to sniff the air. She will attack The Monster if it makes  I call her back to me. I have to tell her twice to come before she breaks her concentration and obeys the command. Threat forgotten, she bounds away after Diva and the spell is broken. 

There was no real danger here but she doesn't know that. She knows no fear, only what she perceives her duty to protect us, even if it costs her life. She is willing to sacrifice herself for me and that humbles me.  The love I feel for this tiny creature suddenly overwhelms me and nearly brings me to my knees. I have lost so much in the last year but I still have her. She is my friend, my companion on this bleak journey I did not ask to take.   She is my last living link to my former life and it is hard to explain how much that means to me. She is the only one left, besides me, who still remembers. 

I am glad tears don't freeze.