The Tao Te Ching is a philosophical and often spiritual text of meditative verses. The Tao Te Ching is a book of ancient Chinese wisdom written sometime around 500 B.C.E by the sage, Lao Tzu. The book has endured thousands of years because it has timeless understanding of life. Second only to the Bible, the Tao Te Ching is the most translated book in the world.
In this series, we are going to approach the Tao Te Ching from a farmer’s point of view. Let all of us– backyard farmers, market farmers, chicken raisers, and “wannabe” farmers alike– take on these poetic truths together.
Farming with the Tao series
Plain country folk with rounded bodies,
Skin turning to bronze in the valley heat.
Why talk to them about the Tao?
They eat when they are hungry,
They sleep when they are sleepy.
Even a sage with infinite permutations
Could not match their simplicity.
Firstly, I would not like to be thought of as having a rounded body, but I am totally fine with the whole bronze-skin bit. If only my fair skin would tan instead of lobsterize.
How perfect is it that the Tao Te Ching discusses farming. These verses reflect what farming should truely be. Farming is not about how many head of cattle you have or how many pounds of cabbage you can grow. Farming is about simplicity. If one wants to learn of simplicity, all they need to do is become a farmer. Although farming is anything but easy, it is a simple life.
Farmers live their lives according to the seasons. Daily tasks are coordinated by the crops and animals, and thus, the weather and rotation of the earth. Honesty is a quick realization in farming. You cannot deny the existance of death, or life, or water, or sunlight. There is no need for politics, or heirarchy, or literature, or technology. Farming in itself is simple, as can be the farmer.
*Tao Te Ching translations by Ming-Dao Deng. Unsightly opinions by Sarah.