Thanksgiving thoughts from Wendell Berry

We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough? – Wendell Berry

Thanksgiving moves rapidly from gratitude to gluttony – I pull the last of the pie out for one more breakfast treat, but the dogs start barking as the sun comes up and I move from pie to back door, pulling on my boots and coat to take them out before they wake the family sleeping all over the house.

There’s a purple hue on the hills and bright red winterberries to wonder at out the door, and I think of Wendell Berry’s words: ‘I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief…For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.’

I’m guided by Berry’s wisdom as I ponder how to preserve the beauty that pulled me from pie to peace- the question of ‘How much is enough’ not ‘How much more can I consume?’

I am grateful for the beauty of the world that remains despite all our taking, and greet the day with the wisdom of Berry’s guidance:

We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us.  And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it.  We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. 

To you, whoever you may be, I say: Come, meaning to stay. Come willing to learn what this place, like no other, will ask of you and your children, if you mean to stay. ‘This land responds to good treatment,’ I heard my father say time and again in his passion to renew, to make whole, what ill use had broken.  And so to you, whose lives taken from the life of this place I cannot foretell, I say: Come and treat it well.

Wishing you the peace and freedom that comes from walking at one with nature.