The tiny town of Emporia, Kansas has become my favorite gathering place to eat good food and meet like-minded people. Gail Fuller and his partner Lynette Miller are innovative farmers who challenged federal crop insurance rules in order to farm in a way that can regenerate land. Every year they round up an odd mix of 100 or more local farmers and ranchers, agronomists, policy makers, a few investors, and an assortment of other passionate folks from Australia, South Africa, Canada, and the US for a two-day field school in Emporia.
I’m sitting by the Ompompanoosuc River and I can feel my nervous system relaxing just by listening to the flow of water over rocks and watching an otter swimming nearby. And I’m thinking about all of you. I’m guessing a lot of us are feeling unsettled these days in our new roller coaster of a world.
I’m writing to update you on my life and work, since it has changed significantly in the last few years, and to give you some opportunities to join me in some exciting upcoming events.
I often think of Christmas as the time to pray and ponder about how to give birth to a revolution, and how to nurture one, once it has been born.
The birth of Christ was a revolution of love. We are ready for another one, as we are each year at this time, and this year calls on us in so many ways. For me, in particular I want a revolution in how we love and respect the quiet life of the land--which we all depend on in so many hidden and obvious ways, for abundant clean water in particular--but also for our food, health, protection from flood, drought, heatwaves, wildfires; for our economies and for peace and safe havens on every continent.
Our misunderstandings about the holy power of photosynthesis, transpiration, and the work of microbes, pollinators, and grazing animals have toppled many a civilization as their living soils fail, and fail to provide all the gifts that God offers us freely. I expect us to learn to work together with people who are different than we are to allow these gifts to flourish again. We know how to do it.
An audacious goal can unify people in unexpected ways. Rehydrate California, Oklahoma, Mexico, Alberta, Africa, and Syria, anyone? Who will join me in my audacious goal?
The Great Post Election Listening Roadtrip: Here's how it all started...
I woke up in the dark on the morning after the election, having had only 3 hours of sleep, and it was time to get up and go to Oklahoma. "I want to cancel this trip... " I groaned into the darkness, where Peter was lying beside me, "...or I wish you were going with me. I don't want to go to Oklahoma the day after the election."
I felt, like so many people, unsafe in the new world.