Wednesday, December 26, 2007

While They're Away

26 December 2007, 5:17
Upon reading Wendell Berry’s The Clearing.

Mr. Berry,

You have a way of taking the most noble
and daily responsibilities of a lover of the earth;
casting them in a light of profundity
which makes me wish I also walked The Farm
with you and pondered such meaning-filled subjects
as politics, religion, and care of the earth.

I forget our craft can be bent upon
the commonest of life’s comings and goings-
those tasks which you and I must do,
regardless of our level of environmental sophistication
and our preference for or against politics-
that there is laundry to be folded
which does not fold itself, and dishes
in the kitchen which require my attention.

The world will turn, but this home will not live
of its own accord. I must help it breathe
and pulse and love. The children
who live within my care will not thrive
without a deliberate sort of care-
a tilling, a sowing, a watering of sorts,
a nurturing of their loves, their wants
and their needs which only I can tend to,
assuming they are with me on any given day.

Even when they’re not, it is my willful
diligence which sets their feet on solid ground
when they return. I will be waiting- this house
will still be home to them because I make it so;
because I am faithful to the fields
while they’re away.

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George MacDonald

"Home is ever so far away in the palm of your hand, and how to get there it is of no use to tell you. But you will get there; you must get there; you have to get there. Everybody who is not at home, has to go home."

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