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
Early autumn rain cleanses away smeared heat.
A grateful traveler takes in crystal skies and crisp air.
Distant mountains seem more vast and blue,
And the sound of the waterfall grows more loud.
This morning during my chores I was delighted to see dark clouds above. Some days it is a blessing to be without the sun’s rays. You know how when you’re outdoors before it rains and you can smell the moisture? That’s what it is like in Mountain Ranch right now. I can smell the wet air all around and when the clouds do decide to release the rain, the air will have a crispness to it, as if it succeeded.
Autumn days are my favorite. The ravens come by in the cooler air to say hello, harvests and the work they entail are ending, life is beginning to mellow after a busy and hot summer.
The beauty of nature is in it’s cycles. Winter is a time of stillness and reflection. Spring brings renewal of life. Summer has seemingly endless bounty and warmth. Autumn is a time of cleansing and preparation.
We are cleansing ourselves of the heat and fires of summer. Autumn is for taking stock of our harvests in the garden, in the home, and of our family. Fall rains are a chance for us to cleanse our spirits and to give our gardens a last drink before bringing in the harvest.
A change in season is what we all need sometimes to get back into the joy of farming.
Knowing that summer is at an end now and cooler weather is approaching gives me some peace. Freyja can be dried off, goats can be bred, rabbit kits may be on their way, and the impending rain season will allow holes to be dug for spring fruit trees. Life feels better on a cloudy day.
*Tao Te Ching translations by Ming-Dao Deng. Unsightly opinions by Sarah.