A Hidden Christmas

Along a ranch road in Gillespie County, Texas

Farmer, philosopher, poet, curmudgeon: Wendell Berry understands the land as well as anyone, and the necessities of human life better than most. When I found these live oaks and Ashe junipers topped with a just slightly gaudy Christmas star, Berry’s words about Christmas in the country and the hidden nature of holiness came to mind. Their essential modesty seems to suit the day.

Remembering that it happened once,
We cannot turn away the thought
As we go out, cold, to our barns
Toward the long night’s end, that we
Ourselves are living in the world
It happened in when it first happened;
That we ourselves, opening a stall
(A latch thrown open countless times
Before), might find them breathing there,
Foreknown: the Child bedded in straw,
The mother kneeling over Him,
The husband standing in belief
He scarcely can believe, in light
That lights them from no source we see,
An April morning’s light, the air
Around them joyful as a choir.
We stand with one hand on the door,
Looking into another world
That is this world, the pale daylight
Coming just as before, our chores
To do, the cattle all awake,
Our own frozen breath hanging
In front of us; and we are here
As we have never been before,
Sighted as not before, our place
Holy, although we knew it not.

 

Comments always are welcome.

Second Cutting

Round Coastal Bermuda grass bales provide a backdrop for Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)

 

Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable.

They love to live where they work and to work where they live. If the scale of their farming is small enough, they like to work in the company of their children and with the help of their children. They love the measure of independence that farm life can still provide.

I have an idea that a lot of farmers have gone to a lot of trouble merely to be self-employed: to live at least a part of their lives without a boss.

                                                  Wendell Berry ~ Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food

 

Comments always are welcome.