On New Year’s Eve, a mesquite wood fire in the fireplace, snow gently fell outside; five of us read poems, including this one written almost fifty years ago by Wendell Berry, published in ‘Farming: A Handbook’:
“In the dark of the moon, in the flying snow, in the dead of winter, war spreading, families dying, the world in danger,
I walk the rocky hillside, sowing clover.”
We cannot help but feel the palpable signs of danger in the world, as well as sorrow, grief and fear around us these days, as more refugees roam the planet, uprooted, as more trees and grasses meet the blades of bulldozers and tractors, and are themselves uprooted.
But each time we sow seeds inoculated with the microbes of rootedness, each time we reach out to someone in distress, especially those who initially seem to be unlike ourselves, we are sowing the seeds of harmony and peace in this world.
I am not so naive as to think that is all we need to do–there is a lot more to restore in terms of social and economic equity, ecological resilience and confidence in one another, but we cannot easily do such work without a sense of gratitude for what may emerge out of it: healthier children, life-changing dialogues, rehabilitated habitat and happy homes.
Let’s strive to make America grateful again.