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Entry 002

PLANTING & TIME
A Vision by Wendell Berry
 
If we will have the wisdom to survive,
to stand like slow growing trees
on a ruined place, renewing, enriching it,
if we will make our seasons welcome here,
asking not too much of earth or heaven,
then a long time after we are dead
the lives our lives prepare will live
here, their houses strongly placed
upon the valley sides, field and gardens
rich in the windows. The river will run
clear, as we will never know it,
and over it birdsong like a canopy.
On the levels of the hills will be 
green meadows, stock bells in noon shade.
On the steeps where greed and ignorance cut down
the old forest, an old forest will stand,
its rich leaf-fall drifting on its roots.
The veins of forgotten springs will have opened.
.   .   .
In early 2018, we planted our first tea field - a dozen east-west spanning rows. A train of tulip poplar trees lined each section, to provide mottled shade during the blast furnace summer. We had to avoid the sun-blocking oak trees picketed on our field’s southern border - wary of both the current stretch of their shadows but also the ground they would cover generations from now. 
 
These last few years have been an all-consuming war with weeds - battles of push mowers, hand pulling, and mulch shoveling. The amount of grass pulled far exceeds that of tea plucked. But, the rows have started to merge, entangled into hedges that steal more and more of the light from the growth below. The war with the weeds is winding down.   
 
In the year 2100, the tea plants, as well as our children, will be entering into their golden years. Our great-great grandchildren may be building forts and hiding among the hedges planted so long ago. The regal poplars will tower over the field, sharing light and memories of weeds with the portly column of oaks on the southern border. And so we continue to embrace the hard work of today in preparation for the abundance of the future. 
 .   .   .
Families will be singing in the fields.
In their voices they will hear a music
risen out of the ground. They will take
nothing from the ground they will not return,
whatever the grief at parting. Memory,
native to this valley, will spread over it
like a grove, and memory will grow
into legend, legend into song, song
into sacrament. The abundance of this place,
the songs of its people and its birds,
will be health and wisdom and indwelling
light. This is no paradisal dream.
Its hardship is its reality.