Monday, July 4, 2016

Do Away With National Barriers ~ Charlie Chaplin

"Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!” 

~ Charlie Chaplin

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Artwork From Eric Ravilious

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Temperature of Thine Own ~ Herman Melville

“It does seem to me, that herein we see the rare virtue of a strong individual vitality, and the rare virtue of thick walls, and the rare virtue of interior spaciousness. Oh, man! admire and model thyself after the whale! Do thou, too, remain warm among ice. Do thou, too, live in this world without being of it. Be cool at the equator; keep thy blood fluid at the Pole. Like the great dome of St. Peter's, and like the great whale, retain, O man! in all seasons a temperature of thine own.” 

~ Herman Melville

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Life in the Ground ~ Charles Dudley Warner

"The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world.... It is a pleasure to eat of the fruit of one's toil, if it be nothing more than a head of lettuce or an ear of corn. .. To dig in the mellow soil... is a great thing. One gets strength out of the ground.... There is life in the ground; it goes into the seeds; and it also, when it is stirred up, goes into the man who stirs it. The hot sun on his back as he bends to shovel and hoe, or contemplatively rakes the warm and fragrant loam, is better than much medicine. "

~ Charles Dudley Warner

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Artwork from James Milroy

Monday, April 25, 2016

Disarm Greed ~ E. F. Schumacher

"How could we even begin to disarm greed and envy? Perhaps by being much less greedy and envious ourselves; perhaps by resisting the temptation of letting our luxuries become needs; and perhaps by even scrutinising our needs to see if they cannot be simplified and reduced."

~ E. F. Schumacher

Artwork from Penny Bhadresa

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fill my Spirit ~ 'Cameron' from Growing Grace Farm

"It’s a cool, rainy  day here–the kind of weather that makes me want to lie on the couch and doze on and off, dreaming of warm, sunny days and veggies growing on the vine.  Sadly, however, the inside of my house beckons me.  She’s a bit jealous that I’ve been spending so much time outside recently.  It’s hard to justify indoor chores when I could be doing a number of outside tasks that fill my spirit."

~ 'Cameron' from Growing Grace Farm

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Artwork from non-identified artist I'm afraid, but Google and I are working on it

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

We Dig ~ Lois Rock

"We think the Earth is ours,
We dig it, drill it, plough it, mine it, pave it bomb it.
Then from within the heart of things, the Earth erupts, it shakes, it quakes, it shifts and drifts.
May we learn to respect the Earth, for it is shaped by forces greater than our own, and we should live in awe of them."

~ Lois Rock

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Artwork from Hannah Firmin

Monday, March 7, 2016

Spring was Moving ~ Kenneth Grahame

“Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.”

~  Kenneth Grahame

Monday, February 29, 2016

Things we Do ~Jeanne Roy

"If you ask people what kinds of activities bring them pleasure, it's usually contact with nature, things that are creative, and relationships with people, and the things we do to live simply bring us all of those satisfactions."

~  Jeanne Roy

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Artwork from John Liddell

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Smell of Manure ~ Doris Lessing

"The smell of manure, of sun on foliage, of evaporating water, rose to my head; two steps farther, and I could look down into the vegetable garden enclosed within its tall pale of reeds - rich chocolate earth studded emerald green, frothed with the white of cauliflowers, jewelled with the purple globes of eggplant and the scarlet wealth of tomatoes."

~  Doris Lessing

Monday, February 22, 2016

Believe in Them as Human ~ Rudy Henry Wiebe

"Understand is not the word; you are right, you can never really 'understand' about someone, anyone, even yourself. It is best to believe in them as human; feel that they are alive like you and need warmth, concern." 

~ Rudy Henry Wiebe

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Artwork from Vasily Nikolaevich Masiutin

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dry Woolen Socks ~ Richard Proenneke

“I have found that some of the simplest things have given me the most pleasure. They didn't cost me a lot of money either. They just worked on my senses. Did you ever pick very large blueberries after a summer rain Walk through a grove of cottonwoods, open like a park, and see the blue sky beyond the shimmering gold of the leaves? Pull on dry woolen socks after you've peeled off the wet ones? Come in out of the subzero and shiver yourself warm in front of a wood fire? The world is full of such things.” 

 ~ Richard Proenneke

Monday, February 8, 2016

Your Work Shall be to Watch ~ James Parnell

 "A barren field, where barrenness and deadness fly away. As the spring comes on, the winter casts her coat and the summer is nigh. O, wait to see and read these things within. You that have been as barren and dead and dry without sap; unto you the Sun of Righteousness is risen with healing in his wings and begins to shine in your coasts.... O, mind the secret sprigs and tender plants. Now you are called to dress the garden. Let not the weeds and wild plants remain. Peevishness is a weed; anger is a weed; self-love and self-will are weeds; pride is a wild plant; covetousness is a wild plant; lightness and vanity are wild plants, and lust is the root of all. And these things have had a room in your gardens, and have been tall and strong; and truth, innocence, and equity have been left out, and could not be found, until the Sun of Righteousness arose and searched out that which was lost. Therefore, stand not idle, but come into the vineyard and work. Your work shall be to watch and keep out the fowls, unclean beasts, wild bears and subtle foxes. And he that is the Husbandman will pluck up the wild plants and weeds, and make defence about the vines. He will tell you what to do. He who is Father of the vineyard will be nigh you. And what is not clear to you, wait for the fulfilling."

~ James Parnell  1656 (Epistle to Friends from prison.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Memory ~ John Steinbeck

“I remember my childhood names for grasses and secret flowers. I remember where a toad may live and what time the birds awaken in the summer, and what trees and seasons smelled like how people looked and walked and smelled even. The memory of odors is very rich.” 

~ John Steinbeck

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Artwork ~I can't find the name of this artist listed, but work is available from

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Moment May Come ~ H.G. Wells

"Then suddenly, in a little while, in his own time, God comes. This cardinal experience is an undoubting, immediate sense of God. It is the attainment of an absolute certainty that one is not alone in oneself. It is as if one was touched at every point by a being akin to oneself, sympathetic, beyond measure wiser, steadfast and pure in aim. It is completer and more intimate, but it is like standing side by side with and touching someone that we love very dearly and trust completely. It is as if this being bridged a thousand misunderstandings and brought us into fellowship with a great multitude of other people. . . ."Closer he is than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet."

The moment may come while we are alone in the darkness, under the stars, or while we walk by ourselves or in a crowd, or while we sit and muse. It may come upon the sinking ship or in the tumult of the battle. There is no saying when it may not come to us. . . . But after it has come our lives are changed, God is with us and there is no more doubt of God. Thereafter one goes about the world like one who was lonely and has found a lover, like one who was perplexed and has found a solution. One is assured that there is a Power that fights with us against the confusion and evil within us and without. There comes into the heart an essential and enduring happiness and courage."

~ H.G. Wells

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Artwork from Dee Nickerson

Friday, January 29, 2016

Every Parting ~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton

"A chord, stronger or weaker, is snapped asunder in every parting, and time’s busy fingers are not practiced in re-splicing broken ties. Meet again you may; will it be in the same way? With the same sympathies? With the same sentiments? Will the souls, hurrying on in diverse paths, unite once more, as if the interval had been a dream? Rarely, rarely!"

~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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Artwork from Steve Bjorkman

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Only Path ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas. Defeat may prove to have been the only path to resurrection, despite its ugliness. I take it for granted that to create a tree I condemn a seed to rot. If the first act of resistance comes too late it is doomed to defeat. But it is, nevertheless, the awakening of resistance. Life may grow from it as from a seed.”

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Artwork from 'typesticker'

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Small Gifts ~ 'Andrew'

"The slow, steady work of putting my hands in the ground, the mystery of what happens underneath the soil, the curious surprise of discovering a bright red tomato on the vinethese things are conditioning me, forming me into a particular type of person. I’m learning to see the bits of divinity dripping from these small gifts, wonderful and awesome in their complexity. I believe Richard Rohr when he says that God is constantly trying to give away parts of God’s self–we just fail to develop the patience to learn how to look for it."

~ 'Andrew' from Oakleaf Mennonite Farm

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Artwork from Stephen Noble

Friday, January 15, 2016

Affirms the Goodness ~ David J. Clark

"I believe very strongly: that farming is a liturgical act (at least it is when one is farming well – which, in my case, is less often than ought to be the case). And, like any good liturgy, it is a liturgical act the significance and meaning of which only slowly reveals itself. I don’t even understand most of what I am saying and what gestures I am making before God when I am participating in this liturgy of field and forest. There is this much, though, that I am sure of – I can feel it in the work: Good farming affirms the goodness of God, it  of all creatures great and small, it affirms the goodness of man, and of the human body, and of what Tolstoy affectionately called “the brotherhood of all men” and of what Wendell Berry calls “the community of creation”. And it does more than affirm: without even intending to, you very often find that you are engaged in an act of gratitude. I am not talking about the feeling of gratitude. You find that the work of farming just is gratitude."

~ David J. Clark

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Artwork from Gwenda Morgan

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Like a Touchstone ~ Haruki Murakami

“We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past, like ancient stars that have burned out, are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about every day, too many new things we have to learn. New styles, new information, new technology, new terminology … But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.” 

~  Haruki Murakami

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Artwork from Michael Kirkman

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Never the Same ~ Redeeming the Dirt

"When I rise early in the morning the waking dawn is just breathtaking. Doing the chores is satisfying as well as great exercise. Basically what I get to do is go around and make the animals happy. Give them feed, fill their water, move their shelters, etc., and when they are happy, my job is done. My daily work on the farm is never the same and changes with the seasons. There are somewhat hard jobs, like processing chickens, setting out thousands of transplants, or working in the heat of the summer. But they don’t last forever and I can finish and move on to something else. There is always something to look forward to. Looking forward to planting the first seeds in spring. Looking forward to harvesting the first crops of summer. Looking forward to the cooler weather of fall. Looking forward to the rest and projects of winter. And the majority of the time I am at home and get to eat every meal with my family, as well as work with them. Almost every day I find myself falling more in love with farming."

~ "Redeeming the Dirt"

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Artwork from John Steuart Curry

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