Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In the Flow and Thankful

When we lived in the cold north, we maintained a suburban organic farmette. For us, Thanksgiving Day had traditional significance. It was tied to harvest and larder and thanks were given for those. It also marked the beginning of a significant change. Dropping temperatures had moved the season’s crops underground or to the compost pile, wood had been split and brought to the house. And by Thanksgiving, our lives would be doing the big flip-flop. Rather than being outdoors most hours of the day, we’d be indoors – inert and unstimulated in the still and never-changing monotony of the house. This was always a very difficult adjustment. It was a contracture of the living experience - in daylight hours, in activity and in spontaneity and wonderment. The dogs had a hard time of it too. Each season, we'd have another opportunity to learn to accept and allow this inevitability.

We were fortunate enough to live among all manner of wildlife. White-tail deer traversed our property often, stopping sometimes to pick pears and apples off our trees. Brand new fawns on wobbly legs and with undeveloped sight would sometimes walk right toward us, mistaking us for conspecifics. Big foxes came out of the woods during the day to sun themselves in the field next door, scratching and yawning, and perennial gardens and woodpiles were abuzz with the movements of rabbits, chipmunks, mice and snakes. Every moment was rich and new and this was thrilling to the core; it helped me to recognize the ceaseless flow and to perceive the very essence of a thing. I’d go out at last light and catch a few bees to put under row covers, petting the fat bumbles’ fuzzy backs as they clung to lavender stalks. Thirstily drinking in all that remained of the day, the dogs would follow me, checking every place and sniffing hard and loud for the critters who were stirring there. They knew the land like I did – in a natural, organic way that comes from within and from countless generations of forebears who considered themselves to be not of it or in it, but as it.

This year, nearby farmers grow what I eat and I’m thankful for them and the way they honor the soil that nurtures my food. And I’m thankful for you! As a reader of this blog you are also a farmer of sorts – you honor the soul and nurture the whole of the dog at your side. Through your willingness to release your concepts, biases and propositions of fact, you cultivate and harvest bountiful animalistic possibility. And you place yourself in harmony with the genuine canine being and the ceaseless flow of rich and riotous expression that is life – natural and organic.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.