Wendell Berry wrote, “When despair for the world grows in me … I come into the peace of wild things.” Isn’t this the truth? Our farm offers beauty, sustenance, and lots of life connections in the peace of the fields. This month we’re sharing five reflections written by survivors participating in our farm stipend program.

On pulling weeds:

“I’ve been weeding in the garden. And I like that because it helps me to get rid of the weeds, so I can plant flowers. That’s how it is in my life. I’m pulling old weeds out of life to plant new flowers.”

On trauma:

“Working with all the beautiful flowers Is kinda like the way my feelings has been. The flowers are so beautiful, and some are dying and changing colors but there is still beauty. We are all beautifully broken and no matter what trauma has been…”

On patience:

“When we have to weed, it takes a lot of time and patience just making sure you pull weeds and not the plants and flowers. And sometimes the weeds look so much like plants and flowers.”

On hope:

I have found peace here…more peace than I have had in my life. By working the farm I have also learned that the smallest hope of life can grow to a bigger and greater things.

On compost:

“It’s like you see (and smell) all the yucky things and, yet through all that yuck, beautiful flowers and plants grow! Like in my life that’s how it was, it was yucky and just bad, but since I came here it’s like I’m a flower/plant that is growing.”

What connections and reflections have you made recently in the fields? We hope you’ll share in the comments. And if you have an extra couple of minutes today, consider listening to this beautiful recording of Wendell Berry reading “The Peace of Wild Things.”