Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Well Said: The Land That Is Us

From my quote journal, via The Spirit of Food. It seems appropriate since Thanksgiving is coming and that's largely about the feast. And about thankfulness, of course, which is about a proper sense of perspective.
When asked what we do for a living I always hesitate; there's no grand title and I can read their eyes. Farming requires no specialized degree, no impressive wages for menial labor, the primitive work of any civilization. We're farmers. We just grow food. We just raise pigs. It doesn't get more rudimentary.

The children read it aloud once from their history text, how the most denigrated class of people in ancient Egypt was the swine herders. They'd looked at each other, at their dad and me, we pig farmers.

I had held the book in my hand, smoothed the page out flat, and the words had come slowly, like bent backs rising, but they had come and we all stood taller because of them. How can growing nourishment for temples where Christ dwells be dirty base work? If it isn't fish at the end of a fork, it ultimately came from dirt, from the bowed back of a farmer. And this dirt tilling, isn't it engaging in Genesis work, stewarding and cultivating his creation? Some say there are only two kinds of people who brush very God. The priest in the sacraments. The farmer in the soil. We've known it, standing at the end of a field, the wagons filling with yield: working earth touches God. Working humus feeds humanity. We are dust farming dust, preparing food for men planting food, living this circular dance: from dirt, through dirt, until the return to the dirt; for from him and through him and to him, all things. Need we be ashamed?

The children had all nodded.
Ann Voskamp, The Land That Is Us

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