The Mad Agriculture Journal
The Mad Farmer Finds Religion
November 01, 2019
Lee esto en español.
Written for Wendell Berry
On the Sabbath I go
a hootin’ and a howlin’
into the woods
for I am in the midst of God
who speaks to me
as He did with Moses
for the forest burns with mystery,
which is at the heart of everything,
My altar the moss bed,
Where I sit to wait,
Not for something to come,
But for myself to arrive.
My chalice, the tightly furled leaf of the bloodroot,
its juice is my communion.
I sit among the mayapples and bracken.
Watching the woods awake.
For in stillness the world unfolds.
The congregation of salamanders,
hickories, swallowtails moves.
What seemed empty is full.
Like me, the wood pewee returns again and again to its place
And always finds nourishment there.
I believe in the subnatural. The place of miracles.
I am content to die amongst the weeds,
In the feral nightshades at the edge of the field,
the boundary of domesticity and wildness.
I confess I am in love with soil. What it gives.
What is takes.
In town, their religion reduces uncertainty,
with answers for everything,
and I wonder, what has happened to faith?
in the woods, in the graveyard
in the prairie, in the fields,
wherever roots drive deep
lifting the elements of the earth to the sky
bringing sunlight to the darkness
and replenishing it.
They say my mornings are wasted.
That time is money.
But, time is a circle!
Not to measure my good work against.
I revel in inefficiency, as most efficiencies
efficiently destroy what they do not consider.
The fear of death does not guide me.
(It does not demand crazy futures).
For in this forest I will be born again
My benediction, the voice of God
lodged within the breast of a wood thrush,
which sings the sun up to break the horizon.
I did not always come to the forest,
It took time to find the answers to the big questions:
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
When the answer has been beneath my nose,
In the dirt beneath my feet.
It is the only thing I am sure of.
I will die into the place I was born.
Be fruitful and multiply, replenish the Earth.
It gives comfort that someday I will nourish this ground.