I have been sitting here staring at this screen trying to figure out what doomsday scheme I could write about this time, something deep seeded in human evolution or otherwise manifested from the evils of our greed and really all I could think to write about today is Love.
Throughout my life I have gone through plenty of my own external and self made struggles, I have found comfort in sorrow and being solitary and I have, on the other hand, felt moments of enlightenment, positive self awareness and shed many insecurities to truly feel days from the first bursts of warmth billowing out from the sun to the cool breeze of a new moon. Mostly I have found the elixir of life to be laughter, exposure to the outdoors, a positive self image, hard manual labor, and devouring delicious, homegrown foods. Surely a lot of people could benefit from this combination of physical and mental treats, but there is one other component that has become very evident to me this past month which is ever so easy to take for granted, and that is Love.
Elliot and I got married on March 31st, 2012 and my goodness what a process that turned out to be. Trying to get the farm where it needed to be in our growing season along side this Wedding planned right in the kisser of the annual Spring growing madness made for some very extensive work weeks. It seemed like the intensity of having a homemade wedding with the expertise of some wonderful friends here on the Island and that of some of our most beloved traveling kindred spirits and family erupted in a rain storm that started about 2 hours before the actual ceremony and ended as my father and I stood, waiting to walk down the isle. Most times there is nothing more calming to a farmer than a rain shower after a week of dry weather and surprisingly the rain did just that on our wedding day. It was a wash of the anxiety, the chaos, the overwhelming thoughts of celebrating and solidifying a journey that we had already begun with the recognition of our friends, family, elders, and role models. When I stood in front of the people who loved us enough to make the journey all the way to Riceboro, Georgia, looking into the eyes of the Love of my life, at the farm where I pour my heart and soul into the soil everyday, I felt so humbled. It reminded me how small I am in comparison to all of the incomprehensible pieces at work in our physical and spiritual realities. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to Love this beautiful man for the rest of my life, receiving his Love in return, united in an effort to be good to all people in our path and to nurture the small corners of the planet we choose to inhabit.
Of course the Love felt on your wedding day is not at all limited to that which is shared between you and your new spouse. Every person I interacted with during the entire process gave so much of themselves to help create this beautiful occasion. Even during the times when the stresses of the components were at their most crippling, my heart was full to the brim with support, advice, and compassion from people who dotted timelines on every stage of my journey as a human being. When a crowd is drawn together from the desire to celebrate the harmonizing of two hearts, it turns out to be quite the magical symphony of people indeed.
This one chaotic moment in time has had the added benefit of heightening my awareness of the Love shared, lost, savored, and denied throughout my day to day. Love is no simple feeling and often comes with several ups and downs, none of which happening in any sort of predictable formation. While it may very well be the most important function of our brains, it comes with a lot of costs and Love equates most easily to a struggling commitment over a chance happy ending of true bliss. There are times when nothing in your life hurts more than your Love and times when other emotions such as resentment, fear, jealousy, and intolerance feel like a more appropriate fit. The true challenge in all of our lives here on Earth is letting Love prevail. Not in some contrived sense, but in the sense that when you are able to Love others openly, your friends, family, partners, neighbors, those that have done you wrong, those that continue to do wrong, and most importantly, yourself, you will find an inner peace that cannot be achieved from any purchase, any achievement, or any social status.
To Love openly you must turn your judgements into curiosities. You must find the inner strength to give value to yourself and your circumstances and to have the same compassion you have for others, for yourself. It is a difficult task becoming so comfortable with who you are that you do not find the need to ridicule the physical and mental state of others. While this is a life long journey for all of us, if we can attempt to approach more of our interactions, our communications, and internal thoughts with Love, there is a chance that humankind as a whole gets a little bit better.
One of the most special parts of the sustainable movement Elliot and I are a part of, in my opinion, is the sense of Love built upon this collection of fading traditional knowledge taken from our ancestors. The willingness the youth of this generation has to work hard for very little reward beyond the fulfillment felt giving such incredible gifts to their communities is absolutely beautiful. These ambassadors of sustainable farming and living are reminding all of us in this greater world the importance of putting Love into everything we do. Love takes a lot of effort and the effort put into these old world trades reflects the Love and intention that is required to create such masterful pieces of art whether it be picked from the field, harvested from the woodlot, or crafted in the shop. These individuals use Love to harness a work ethic required to mend cut corners and revitalized tortured landscapes. All the while, all of this effort, this artistry, is shared willingly and joyfully with those who choose to be around it. I’ll take my Love where I can get it, and fortunately for me, my lifestyle rewards me with some of the most wholesome, abundant Love this world has to offer. I just hope to meet it with an open heart and graceful, patient spirit.