Welcome to Our 2014 Season!
Holding and sharing wholeness--that is now the focus at White Rose Farm. The farm now radiates wholeness in the form of beauty, bounty and balance. That experience is available to those who visit--and to those who are touched by the farm's produce and products.
Theologian Thomas Berry said that we are touched by what we touch; we are shaped by what we shape; we are enhanced by what we enhance. Our relationship with nature is our primary experience of the divine. The outer world of nature and the inner world of humans go together.
In our modern world, there are few places that encourage a deep connection with the natural world. At White Rose Farm, we invite people into the gardens to connect and to create with nature. By connecting and creating, we promote wholeness in ourselves and in our world.
We restore our commons--common air, common water, common-unity.
How exciting! Won't you join us?
Posted by Sally Voris :: Tuesday, October 21 :: 8:00am
Maybe it's the time of year, maybe it's the time of man, maybe it's the time of my life, but I have never felt more strongly the urge to honor the invisible Spirit that flows in and out of our visible world.
As crops wither and die with the frost, perhaps it is natural to seek an inner spirit. Traditional cultures honored those who died in the past year near Halloween. Elders wove stories of the rhythms of life, of truths beyond time and space, of family and of the land itself as people sat around a fire. Such stories may be just what is needed now as news of disasters and infections spread like wildfire around the world.
This year, it is personal for me. Last year, four of my loved ones died. A friend and gifted artist died on Christmas Eve. A leader in my home community and a friend of a close friend died this summer--all succumbing quickly to pancreatic cancer. The fourth, a mentor, died slowly of Alzheimer's disease. Who will convey their essence to those who did not know them? Who will carry on their work?
On October 8, three close friends came to the farm to honor our loved ones. We shared pictures, stories and poems. We spoke of those who died in the past year, our parents, grandparents, an aunt, a daughter and friends. We honored two mentors who died twenty years ago in September. We lit candles; we danced; we sang; we shared a meal. “This is important work we do, here and now, together," one friend said.
Just two days earlier, a class came from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) to experience the farm. I had been inspired by the work of world-class gardener Alan Chadwick to invite them. Chadwick felt that the garden was the basis for all culture, art, religion and science. He said, "In our garden, we are trying to reinvest in simple tasks the sense of their true significance.
I had sent them short pieces of writing from the Alan Chadwick archives (www.alan-chadwick.org.). In the site's annotated bibliography, Greg Haynes compares sitting around a fire at night with its modern substitute—watching television.”It's all there: the flickering lights, the stories, the narration, the jokes, the surprises, the violence...But is this modern artifice a human soul-enriching experience ? Or is it an isolating, alienating, deadening and ultimately unsatisfying substitute for real life?” he asks.
After the tour, one group of students picked food from the garden; another sliced, diced, blended and stirred in the kitchen; a third chopped wood and started the fire. Then we gathered around the fire and ate together. “Your kitchen smells like my grandmother's, “ a student from Italy said. “I never realized how black the sky could be,”commented a student from Japan. Everyone warmed to the dog, the cat, the chickens and the cow. We heard wild geese honk as they flew overhead; we saw the moon rise from behind the clouds. The night air chilled us; smoke stung our eyes.
“It was really magical for the students to get out of the classroom, put hands in the earth and cook over a fire. We all felt so connected, to the land and to each other!” wrote the two professors.
Connected to the land and each other; connected to rhythms and patterns of the seasons; connected to elemental forces and mysteries beyond knowing. It is so simple, so profound. How do we find our way back to our roots? How do we invest in simple tasks their true significance--to put hands in the earth, prepare a meal, kindle a fire and re-member those who have gone before?
Joni Mitchell sang it well, “We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden.”