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Another Season Gone By...

Another Season Gone By...

As we round out the growing season up here in Northwestern Pennsylvania (Zone 6a), and the days start to get colder and darker, I sit and reflect upon the inherent cycles of Nature, the growth spurts and growing pains of the year, the path of the plant from seed to harvest and back to seed again. I honor and learn to move with the rhythm of Planet Earth. I express gratitude for all of the lessons learned, all of the nourishment, and all of the community built around shared values of human dignity and empowerment. We have begun to prepare for a lengthy winter, some of it to be spent with our most beloved friends and family, some of it to be in relative hibernation, resting, recuperating, and conserving energy, while we wait for the sun to warm our chilled bones once again. The pace of life shifts, new growth ceases, things fall away. We save seeds, we dry and preserve foods, we button up our shelters, and check in with those in need. Do you have enough? Is your heart steady and strong? Masanobu Fukuoka, in his book One-Straw Revolution, propounds the idea that "The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings". As a constant gardener myself, I must emphasize the immense personal transformation that I have experienced in my work with cultivating plants. There is no way to nurture life - whether it be a child, a pet, a tiny clover next to your front walkway - without first learning to nurture oneself. This process becomes circular and self-supporting, as nurturing others becomes self-nurturing and vice versa. Life supports life. When I step into a garden, I am listening intently for what is being communicated to me. Does the garden need water? Do its individual plants need more room to grow, more airflow, certain nutrients, reduced pest pressure? Is it overflowing with plump produce, ripe for the plucking? Does it need affirmation and acknowledgement of just how miraculous its growth really is? Does it need adoration? Does it need to rest... In turn, it asks me those same questions and responds to my needs, creating a beautiful and symbiotic relationship. For me, the sentience of plants is inarguable; plants respond to human attention and love. It's intuitive. Tell me, how does the growing of crops help to cultivate the human being?

Photo Caption: Today, we need only be admired.

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