Photo by Ekrem Osmanoglu
It’s a crazy week here in Atlanta, but the good kind of crazy. We are proud to be sponsoring the Georgia Climate Conference, and I was blown away to hear that we have hundreds of people on a waiting list in addition to the 400 people attending. If any of you out there want to follow along, there will be a live cast of the conference available here.
That means I’m taking the week off, and this time I will share a poem that a friend recently sent to me (many thanks Henry!). I think it’s just tremendous. Here is Wendell Berry’s “A Vision”:
If we will have the wisdom to survive,
to stand like slow-growing trees
on a ruined place, renewing, enriching it,
if we will make our seasons welcome here,
asking not too much of earth or heaven,
then a long time after we are dead
the lives our lives prepare will live
there, their houses strongly placed
upon the valley sides, fields and gardens
rich in the windows. The river will run
clear, as we will never know it,
and over it, birdsong like a canopy.
On the levels of the hills will be
green meadows, stock bells in noon shade.
On the steeps where greed and ignorance cut down
the old forest, an old forest will stand,
its rich leaf-fall drifting on its roots.
The veins of forgotten springs will have opened.
Families will be singing in the fields.
In their voices they will hear a music
risen out of the ground. They will take
nothing from the ground they will not return,
whatever the grief at parting. Memory,
native to this valley, will spread over it
like a grove, and memory will grow
into legend, legend into song, song
into sacrament. The abundance of this place,
the songs of its people and its birds,
will be health and wisdom and indwelling
light. This is no paradisal dream.
Its hardship is its possibility.