“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 6, 2009

In the garden, or with my animals, I am always reminded that we are braided together in this life. There is an interdependence and interaction that deep down, is spiritual – I think of it as a continuous equal trade between us, and a trade with all things else in the immediate and distant environment. This trade supports a steady balance in this interconnected life of give and take.

For everything here on earth, there is a reason and purpose. There is a reason and a purpose that we did not design, and at times we do not fully understand. But God does….

There are almost too many connections to list here, and then so many more that are yet to be realized. Some are easy for me to see and follow, like the relationship and connectedness of bees and flowers. And then there are those that are less pronounced and I did not expect. Two recent experiences follow:

It took me a while to figure out why there were green frogs in the beans and chard, as my experience could only allow me to associate frogs with water and lily pads. But finally it dawned on me that they were feasting on the insects in the garden, keeping these predator populations in check, while staying sheltered and moist beneath the leafy canopy of these same plants. I never had seen or heard of this before, but here it was…frogs and plants helping each other to survive another day.

Every bird nest here on the farm – bluebird, wren, martin, barn swallow, etc – to some degree is weaved and lined with the long horsehair shed from the manes and tails of our horses Louie, Patrick, and Zips. These same birds spend the day swooping over the pastures eating up the mosquitoes, greenheads, and horse flies that can make grazing impossible for the horses. It has always been easy to see how the birds helped out the horses, yet I had never given thought that the horses traded back. Now I know better!

I could go on with other examples that have given me some surprise, but the point of these two examples is that we are all connected somehow. We live with, and from, the help of each other, whether we are a frog, bee, bird, horse, human, plant, etc. Each day we trade, whether we know it or not. Each day we need to remind ourselves that our trades need to be fair, otherwise our relationships will fall out of balance, and then life will lose its sustainability.

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