Monday, October 13, 2008

Stories from Prince Edward County

Some of us who have moved here call ourselves E.T.’s – Ex-Torontonians. I have passed the two-year mark of living in lovely Prince Edward County and it’s beginning to feel more and more like home, I am falling into the rhythm of the natural world around me.

When I moved into my house two years ago the splendor of growing wheat unfolded in the fields below. My dog Sassy loved leaping through it in wild bounds like a young deer. I had seen the green carpet of winter wheat when I placed my offer late in the winter season and was able to watch it grow and mature from a rich green to a splendid golden colour. The wind had fun playing through the wheat when it was tall and glorious, creating undulating patterns much like ocean waves. I respond to this with the deep body cell memory that has been imprinted in all of us for eons.
I remember during my childhood in Germany hiking to the top of my beloved hills where there were large flat areas to grow wheat, oats and barley. I don’t recall the fields being infested with wild greens, but surrounding them like a tight fitting frame grew wild poppies and wild cornflowers of the deepest red and the deepest blue imaginable. These are good memories, memories that bring joy to my heart.

The wheat in the fields this year is disappointing and markedly different. Much shorter, almost by half its size, even the wind is disappointed and has lost interest in playing. My soul does not recognize its colour, it seems drab and spiritless, there is a sadness that begins to settle in that won’t leave me. The green of the grass at the edges seems even more exuberant in contrast. What might it whisper to the fields as solace?

This morning, the dogs and I found a dead chipmunk on the road. Its mouth had been pushed open upon impact, and was framed as with a string of pearls with wheat kernels. What impact, I asked myself with a deep ache in my heart, does all this altered food have on the wild creatures, birds and insects? Our Native friends teach us that we must look ahead seven generations. What is there to say? I have such a deep love for the natural world. It is what powerfully compels me to teach the Living Foods Lifestyle and its philosophy. It is a philosophy that places us in the earth and makes us recognize her power, love and wisdom. It makes us realize that she endlessly gives to us and never asks anything in return. But she is beginning to speak with a powerful voice.

I’ll share some of that in my next story, for I believe in storytelling. Before the alphabet was created, we were all an oral society, passing knowledge through stories. Stories endure as a powerful learning tool, and storytelling is the way I like to teach.

Thomas Berry in The Dream of the Earth, invites us to ponder and search in our souls and hearts for answers. He writes:
It’s all a question of story. We are in trouble just now because we do not have a story. We are in between stories. The old story, the account of how we fit into it, is no longer effective. Yet we have not learned the new story.