“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”William Shakespeare
They say to work the land is a humbling experience. We have learned over the years to view the moments we may consider a setback as a chance to learn from nature itself.
Mother Nature has the upper hand in this relationship:
- dictating where her edges will be
- where life and death will coexist
- where man’s aspirations will be throttled.
Some of our best laid plans have remained just that – sketches in journal pages, scribbles on napkins, spreadsheets of budget scenarios – all have their place in the past as we ebb and flow in this dance with the land.
About 10 days ago, the area around our farm received 8+ inches of rain over about 2 days.
Topographically – our land has 3 high points bounding a lower elevation of meadows, marshes, creeks and ponds. We are peppered throughout the land with springs that wake up during the dawn of the year and gently soak the ground.It is beautiful.
However, there is one scenario where the equation of a
lop-sided topo “bowl” +
heavy rain +
short time frame +
bubbly springs Equals a force and volume of water incomprehensible.This is what happened at the farm.
A wall of water coming from the 3 high points ploughed down the rock faces – powered by a volume of rain and the force of swollen spring “geysers” channeling itself into our main creek, breaking its banks by over 3-5 feet.
What does that look like?
Debris 2-3 feet into the trees.
Our newly established unimproved roads washed away.
Portions of bridges damaged.
And large trees down.
It was breath-taking to behold.
This is what we absorbed over the weekend as we carefully weaved our way through the debris.
We are getting quite experienced at these “learning moment set backs” – adjusting, pausing, grieving, planning and, eventually, persevering.
Most of these learnings have been intimate between my husband and I – but, this weekend we experienced the power inherent in the comfort of community.
- The roadway/bridge guy showed up within an hour of our call surveying the damage. While spitting out his tobacco juice, he explained how to repair and possibly permanently alleviate another damaging event – sharing the local lore of the storm.
- Mom and Billy, with a 5 gallon bucket of freshly picked green beans and squash in hand, brought smiles, laughter and strength – keeping us focused on life beyond the obvious and keeping us focused on stepping forward.
- Most importantly, we stopped and spoke with God in moments of prayer to see what we needed to learn – to receive some peace – to make sure “all things were according to Him.”
And, as I was gargling some calendula blooms under a late “Strawberry Moon,” I noticed something spectacular –
A bright yellow/orange blossom clutching an ever so small sleeping bee – probably exhausted from the day’s work – having done all it could – and now needing some time to rest its head, recoup its energy and be kept safe.
It was a message loud and clear for me, at least.
In the harshest of times,
There is beauty.
There is a community of comforting people.
There is an invitation to rest.
There is safety.
There is no need to worry.
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life,…Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they? And which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life’s span…Notice how the lilies of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin thread for cloth, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?”
Matthew 6: 25-30