While in my current brief stint in D.C., I am often given a puzzled look when I tell someone that I am going back to the farm: “You’ve made it to D.C., haven’t you? Why would you go back?” I’m going back because the farm and all it means are more important than anything I can do or want to do here. It is more meaningful to go to a place that has claims on you, for that is where you can best serve and live the good life.
Poetry is the creative ordering of words to bring forth the fruits of the human heart and intellect. The poet is called to lose himself, so to speak, in listening to inspiration, a power that is classically understood to be beyond him. Similarly, the farmer is called to lose himself in the rhythms of the land he cares for, emptying himself, heart and mind, into the land.
Human stories, centered around human persons in pursuit of wisdom, are the roots from which communities grow. We can be sure, by the sweat on the brows of each person in the McGinley family, that this connection between the land and community is no mere metaphor.
It’s hard to escape from beauty if you’re ready to observe the biotic activity and geologic history of the world. Beauty is essential, and I’m saying that, even with the desecration of the ecosphere going on right now, it’s still there.
Uprooted is partly a memoir of her extended family, partly a paean to a way of life that is both dying and which she never really understood while she grew up in the midst of it (and thus feels the loss of all the more deeply now), and partly a study of the causes of that dying, and how what has endured--the habits, the connections, the sense of place--has shaped her extended family nonetheless.
In some ways Good Husbandry stands as a kind of bildungsroman for Essex Farm and, by extension, the support-your-local-farmer movement.
Moore insists that his book about farming is not exclusively about rural places: “the point is not even about farming . . . most of what I’ve said in this book is equally applicable to work in the office, factory, classroom, or home." Moore argues that in each of these locations, the human experience begins and ends with gratitude.