“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

Monday, November 29, 2010

November 29, 2010

It was Sunday morning….
There was frost in the garden and the moon tried to hide

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23, 2010

I was supposed to give a message at tonight's Ecumenical Thanksgiving service - at least that's what I thought I was going to do until I got there and read the program. I had been given a whole 'nother part...doing a pasteurized responsal thing, where I say a line and then the flock says a line in response, neither of it our own - I am told what to say to them and they are told what to say back...I don't quite get the point of it all. Very different for me because Quakers don't do these types of things in worship.

I am pretty disappointed.

So it goes.

Anyhow, I will share my Thanksgiving message here with you...and you can respond anyway you want...

Thanksgiving is a day we give thanks to God for all that God has given us… God gave us this earth and all we grow and harvest. God gave us family and friends. God gave us His son…These are real gifts…

Thanks giving is also day that shows that we need each other – no less than the Indians and the Pilgrims found that they needed each other. Thanksgiving, like it was on that day long ago, is still about tolerance…accepting the differences in us all – physically and culturally.

An important theme of Quakerism is that “there is that of God in everyone”. Its not necessarily a belief or creed, but rather it is a practice of living – it’s a truth that guides us to be let go of our conditions and be peaceful to others. It is the truth that gives us the courage to put down our arms and take up service.

But this truth is hard to live. It’s not easy to always explore or celebrate differences. Many times we try to eliminate what is different. And I don’t mean to eliminate in a violent sort of way. Of course that happens, and it is happening now in many parts of our world. But I mean sometimes its by keeping our distance or turning our backs, or erecting borders around us. Many times we do it unconsciously.

To tolerate is to let go of fears. It is to learn. It is to listen. It is to accept…it is to invite someone into your world so to share it with…We know that none of these things are easy. Its hard. Just as you might do, I too struggle to be open to others.

But our ancestors, on Thanksgiving Day, were able to do that. That is why Thanksgiving is not about arrows and muskets….it is not about an Indian raid or a new world conquest. Its about peace. Its about sitting down with each other. Its about giving ourselves to others…

Diversity is a gift that God gave us and that we should be thankful for…

But without tolerance, we will never know this gift, and without tolerance, we will never know peace.

When it gets hard, we need try to remember, that “there is that of God in everyone”.

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November 9, 2010

It’s only a few days into the end of daylight savings time and I am already a bit whacked out. I hate these time changes.

Its bad enough that the earth needs to tilt back a bit to get away from the sun, causing the shorter days…but…moving the clock hands around only makes it worse.

This argument of an extra hour of sleep is, well, not coming from me! I went to bed Saturday at 9pm and my inner clock told me to wake up a little more than 7 hours later - like it has been doing for years and years. Seven, seven and a half hours of sleep is pretty much all my body wants, so I woke up at 3:30 am (formally 4:30 am) Sunday morning. So yeah, I got an extra hour – of dark!

Since I was “given” this extra hour, I took great advantage of it by flicking on the tv and watching a hundred channels worth of infomercials…what else can I do at 3:30am in the dark. And let’s face it, they only sell the good stuff to make my life easier and better at 3:30 in the morning! They can’t sell this stuff during the day cause then everyone would want it and if everyone had it then no one would need it.

My shake weights, real estate cash flow program, Magic Bullet blender, and a new leopard print Snuggie should be arriving in a few days. I was thinking of getting those special tablets that makes a “guy last longer” – well ya know, I do have an extra hour now, so I was thinkin’, why not? But I hesitated that last split second and didn’t get the phone number in time before a vacuum infomercial popped up.

Oh well…I guess I can rationalize that it's better at my age to use that extra hour to get in shape, sell real estate and get rich, and make salsa in less than ten seconds. I haven’t decided yet what to do with the Snuggie. Not that I’ve quite yet decided what to do with all the salsa that I am going to make either.

But now that I will have all these cash flow secrets to get rich by flipping incredibly valuable real estate with no money down, I will be able to retire by a pool, and not be too worried by the time change at all. Of course, by then I will have a huge house and will need that vacuum cleaner that even without the extra attachments doubles as a steam cleaner and button hole maker…

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 1 and 2, 2010

Nov 1:

It’s the first day of November. Its 7:43 am. It’s also our first real frost. The ice crusts the grass and the world is diamond white for now.

Tomorrow is Election Day, which will end the candidate bickering, mud slinging commercials, and the wasted signage that litters the roadways. All the promises go with the trash. The day after we will wake up to find that nothing has changed. The war will still drag on. We’ll still have the same taxes. Unemployment will remain. But those guys will still have jobs….

Last night I went late to check on the chickens and to close up the coop. I never take a light. I want the darkness because I like to stop along the fence line, look up, and wonder at the stars and the moon…
While out there I check on the horses too. Last night Louie wasn’t in his stall, but outside in his paddock. In the dark he was an even darker form, lying down with his legs tucked underneath him. Restful breathes couched drawn out, melancholy snores…Louie was sound asleep, just he and the night and the stars and his dreams….

Down the road there used to be a farm and the farmers sold their produce along their highway frontage. When the township changed the zoning from rural use to residential/ commercial, the land became much more valuable and the farmers sold and retired. Soon mc mansions dotted the back fields while a business and then two suddenly fronted the highway. There is one field still fallow but yesterday a developer put up a sign looking for tenets…I imagine it will not be fallow too much longer.
With all this, our food chain just got longer…every time a local farm goes to development we have to reach further away for our food and also more to the processed kind. Our connection to the land gets bulldozed away along with the topsoil.

Nov 2:

This morning, like every morning, I walked out into the morning darkness to feed the horses before I headed to my real job…Like always, Patrick was waiting at the fence for me. He must wander out of his stall when he sees the house lights come on. The lights must say that “its time for breakfast so I’ll wait here for my hay”. Anyway, I always stop and let him lick my hand, which is his way of saying good morning – if I walk past without offering my hand to his tongue, he grumbles at the snub. I know that no one should ever put their hand to a horse’s mouth, but Patrick is a bit different – unlike Louie and Zip, Patrick doesn’t think that fingers are carrots….he just likes that touch, that connect. He waits for it every day, and I am realizing that this ritual is becoming just as meaningful to me as it is for him…