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A Window On My World

This is not a daily blog.
Posts will be published on occasion and irregularly as I am able.
Some of these posts are from my web site The Garden At Crocker Croft.
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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Earth's Sweet Breath

Now is the time that farmers throughout the temperate zone begin their spring rituals.

Farmers are an eclectic group: rule out the cattlemen & women, the horse people, the shepherds, the tree-farmers, the dairy people, and you still have a wide diversity of opinions, beliefs, ethics, habits, and philosophy among the farmers remaining, the good-ole dirt-farmers, bless them.

I was born and reared on a grandfather's farm. He dibbled in a little this and a little that, but mostly he was a homesteading dirt-farmer. And, I loved it there!

I remember that first plowing, the ritual that began our farming year, a near spiritual rite which in another culture might have been preceded by a blessing celebration. Seems to me there should have been one. There was not. Such as that was reserved until harvest and Thanksgiving Day.

The farmer just started with bent head carefully watching his furrow as he went - blades slicing into the rested earth, releasing her sweet, moist breath - an unmatched, unique fragrance. Farmers know that breath, they breathe it in deep, only in spring. Someone said it is for that, that farmers farm - the addicting, rich, sweet, satisfying fragrance of the first plowing on spring days.

To this day, when the winter weather breaks enough for me to walk out of the house into the garden and onto the lawn, I cringe, I can hardly bear to step on the soil, that wondrous living thing made up of so many live organisms. It feels like stepping on flesh. It is alive.


Balisha said...

Barbee...What a beautiful post..a tribute to farmers.I love coming here and reading your views on life in the natural world...Balisha

Rusty said...

So true. The soil we often take for granted is a living organism. Teeming with life. A good microscope and a drop of water from a puddle will show a virtual city of living things. ATB!

Skeeter said...

Sweet memories... There is nothing like digging in the fresh soil in the spring time. I enjoy the scent of a freshly tilled field...

HolleyGarden said...

Your posts always make me stop and think. You have a wonderful writing style. My grandfather was a farmer, and he 'bowed his head' many days in the fields. Loved the way you describe the soil being alive like flesh.

Barbee' said...

What thoughtful comments all of you have left. I enjoy them so much. Thank you!

gld said...

Posts like this make us all stop and appreciate the blessing of this time of year.

Thank you.

Canyon Girl said...

Honoring the earth in spring -- I think you blessed it right here and may that bring abundant harvest for all the small farms still around. Thank you for all your comments and I will put your blog back in my sidebar now that you write every now and then. I wouldn't want to miss a word.--Inger

Canyon Girl said...

Hi again and thanks for following me on this A to Z challenge. I love getting feedback from you. Hope you are feeling OK.-- Inger

Forest Dream Weaver said...

I love what you say about the earth being alive.

All best wishes!

Lucy said...

Hope the link on Loose and Leafy is ok.


It's a strange coincidence but, in it, I say how, because of your blog, I have begun to wonder what Kentucky is like - and, lo and behold, when I come here to collect the URL for the link, I find you have written one of your rare posts about outside your garden!


Barbee' said...

Lucy! How delightful! Of course I do not mind the reference, and thank you for the link, etc. Your header photo is so gorgeous and large that I gasped with pleasure when I loaded your post. I, too, share your dislike for large crowds. I do not like cities. Maybe if I had been born and reared in one it would be different for me, but I'm basically an outdoor girl who takes pleasure in quiet places, dandelions, and wildlife both fauna and flora. Your thoughts on describing ones locale are intriguing. I need to think about that for a bit. Thank you for such an interesting, educational, and thought provoking post. CLICK HERE to visit Lucy's post.

Barbee' said...

gld, and Canyon Girl, and Forest Dream Weaver: I appreciate your thought provoking comments. Each one has made me stop and think on it. They are lovely gifts to me, I think. Thank you.