A Purification by Wendell Berry

This poem, A Purification by Wendell Berry, was posted on the Order of Interbeing Yahoo group recently by a friend of mine. I was touched by its spirit of spring and beginning anew.

As you may know spring is a very important time for me and each year I celebrate the vernal equinox. My celebrations certainly don’t go as far as the ritual of the poem, but I love it when the days get warm and the weather for tennis is perfect.

A Perfection

Vernal Falls

Vernal Falls – Yosemite National Park – Near where we got married in 1981

At start of spring I open a trench
in the ground. I put into it
the winter’s accumulation of paper,
pages I do not want to read
again, useless words, fragments,
errors. And I put into it
the contents of the outhouse:
light of the sun, growth of the ground,
finished with one of their journeys.
To the sky, to the wind, then,
and to the faithful trees, I confess
my sins: that I have not been happy
enough, considering my good luck;
have listened to too much noise;
have been inattentive to wonders;
have lusted after praise.
And then upon the gathered refuse
of mind and body, I close the trench,
folding shut again the dark,
the deathless earth. Beneath that seal
the old escapes into the new

What did you do to celebrate the beginning of spring this year? Please share.

Books by Wendell Berry

The Unsettling of America: Culture & Agriculture

Wendell Berry

Since its publication by Sierra Club Books in 1977, The Unsettling of America has been recognized as a classic of American letters. In it, Wendell Berry argues that good farming is a cultural development and spiritual discipline. Today’s agribusiness, however, takes farming out of its … [Read More…]

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