Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dependent upon our local place...

Wendell Berry says:
"Put the interest of the community first. Love your neighbors--not the neighbors you pick out, but the ones you have. Love this miraculous world that we did not make, that is a gift to us. As far as you are able make your lives dependent upon our local place, neighborhood, and household--which thrive by care and generosity--and independent of the industrial economy, which thrives by damage."
I heard this passage quoted today from the pulpit of the church that my family happily found three years ago this Fall, not by "shopping" for the place of worship that best satisfied our desires or reinforced what we already thought, but rather by visiting our local church -- the church whose corner we passed every day.

The passage made me reflect on my weekend bike ride the previous day, in the captivating early New England autumn. With camera in pocket, too (click for better images). This ride always exercises my mind as well as my body. Here, in a distance from our urban home that can be covered without gasoline power, one finds all the elements of Berry's proposal.

Here are the generous souls of the Food Project -- who work to connect urban youth with good food and agriculture -- harvesting sweet potatoes.

Here is the bustling farmers' market in Concord...

... with the table of volunteers who are trying to preserve Thoreau's Farm, the writer's birthplace. Isn't that appropriate to the day's theme?

Back home on the Minuteman Bikeway, a delightful world-class urban rail-to-trail that passes near our street (alas, Blogger is not letting me add any more photos!).

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