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
Drought burns basins to dust,
Light rain is a dew of mockery.
Receive without complaint,
Work with fate.
The Tao Te Ching thinks of everything, I tell ya. I set out this morning to find a verse that fit my current mood towards the farm. From a few of my past posts it is easy for one to see that I need a new lesson in patience, endurance, and faith. Once in awhile I just need to close my eyes and take a few deep breaths. Once I read this particular verse there was just no way that I would find a more fitting or more relevant passage.
Despite my best efforts, even when the land is choked by drought, it is useless to complain. When light rain barely moistens the ground, we need to accept it. We need to learn to accept what comes.
We can plan for the future and have an utopian view of time and space that works within our schedule and knowledge, but the universe has a different sense of time; universal time bends and twists. We (more specifically, I) can cry and whine in frustration over rainfall, but those who accept the fate of the universe are, or work to become, prepared.
This is not to say that acceptance is fatalism. We should not stand by, inactive and let time pass by. Instead, we need to work within our circumstances.
This year we have experienced an exceptional drought so I should now be conserving water and setting up methods of saving future water. Because if there is one thing that the universe is always sure to do, it is balance itself out. I will do my best to take the remainder of this land and farm production drought without complaint, work with what I have, and prepare for the future when heavy rains, baby animals, and the milk and honey are sure to flow again.
*Tao Te Ching translations by Ming-Dao Deng. Unsightly opinions by Sarah.