Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Time for Country Mice to Get Happy

Time for Country Mice to Get Happy

by Meg Curtis, PhD

As perfume drifts in from the fields, the trees clump with red fruit, and the vines swirl with purple drapes. Dionysus prepares the urns for wine. Harvest will soon be upon us with its heady offerings.

Farmers continue to be the lucky ones among laborers who may never see the fruit of their dedication. Agricultural workers see that fruit, smell it, touch it with reverant hands.

Cherry and berry pickers return from their climbs and forays covered with red juice, not human blood. They wrestle with branches and wind tossing gaunt arms, not bullets. They radiate sun.

They live with water as refreshment for plants and animals alike. They pour it, whisper it, at just the moment of need, knowing thirst is a universal challenge. They feed animals first, themselves last.

Animals understand farmers' compassion. Their eyes turn to those who work with them every day. This is team work of the first order, preserving the earth so it may rise again, watching it sleep.

Do not ask a farmer if bumblebees matter. Do not ask him or her if land is a commodity or home. Just ask: How did you do this? And s/he will answer: God knows. The rain came in time.

If the rain does not come on a reliable schedule, then farmers will have risked their all for nothing. Just look at the sky as they do: It rumbles with power. It breathes with freedom to make a living.

All marvels do not come from machines. Yes, the combines will be busy, and the pitchforks will send bales flying. But in the great schemes of Nature, who are we but mice who nibble gratefully?

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