The blog of Hope Grows

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

WWOOFer The First

The job of a member of the World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farming program is simple and straightforward. We talk to farmers, visit with growers of all different sorts and backgrounds, and work our way through sun, sweat, and more than a few long, tiring days, and while the experience is always an event to remember, it is not always something that resounds deep enough to leave lasting impressions on a persons way of life.

The past three weeks living here at Hope Grows farm, although short in length of stay, have imparted a vastness of virtue that few experiences can hope to replicate. It is rare, in any walk of life from the actor to the athlete, writer to wanderer, to find a person so devoted, so in love with their art and everyday practice that their actions can change those around them without even trying; Elliott and Arianne certainly make that cut. From early mornings spraying sleepy dew from the tall waving grasses in the pecan orchard to spending a few moments in the heat of the day to savor a slice of melon grown not twenty feet behind you with a couple of endearing pigs in the shade, I find myself hard pressed to think of a better way to spend my scant summer vacation. Moreover, the lessons learned here have certainly not fallen on deaf ears. My body feels better, responds better, and moves better than just a month before, when I would lament my college-inspired unhealthy lifestyle of late nights and dubious sustenance.

So what is the virtue to be learned here? What have my unbelievably gracious and accommodating hosts imparted on this hungry mind? Love what you do. Be mindful. Watch the sun across the sky, get dirt under your fingernails, and above all else, listen to the world around you, because "Mother Nature is smarter than the FDA". After my stay here, I believe it.

Mark Wilco