Nurturing November Almanac, 2023

Japanese autumn leaves at night background watercolor

Nurturing November Almanac

The true life of the bowl began the moment it was dropped. 
–Ancient Kintsugi quote

We’re halfway to the Winter Solstice and all is going to ground, temperatures sinking, darkness pressing, daylight draining as the sun’s stipend of shine creeps south.  The remains of summer’s riches are descending into winter’s underground vault—but not without a final spectral extravagance of fall hues and root crops.  On the farm, it’s time to dig out the sweet potatoes that burgeon below ground, each one a surprise package filled with golden sustenance for the scarcity ahead.  

In cultures the world over, this is a time of the year to honor the dead, remember our ancestors, grieve our losses and mend our spirits through sweet memory and tender togetherness.  Katsuigi’s phrase above reminds us that brokenness is an essential element of life.  Things don’t last or work out the way we might hope.  Expectations are foiled.  Dreams fade.  So how can this be the beginning, not the end?  The start of something yet more beautiful that beckons new energy and finds unforeseen forms?  

We’re asking ourselves these questions at Common Ground.  After years of ardent effort, a viable path forward to living on the land still seems out of reach.  It’s very hard to be in this place of unknowing, month after month, year after year.  And it’s all too easy to judge harshly, become weary of the whole thing, and lose heart.  Yet, as this Almanac reveals, we persist because this precious land and community call us to continue. 

It can help to dip into deep time and remember that we are not even a blip on the cosmic screen.  We’re living wildly improbable human lives, each a walking miracle, born of the fathomless and inscrutable creativity of the universe.  So let’s live into that reality and dare to keep dreaming, together.

See you at Common Ground

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