Monday, February 8, 2010

Humus-another rambling meditation

Humus in Latin means earth, ground, or soil. It is the Latin root from which we get English words like "humility" and "humble." It would seems ironic to write in a personal blog about humility, since blogging is a little narcissistic, but here goes.

I was thinking more about being grounded and centered. I was also meditating on beginning seeds in my sun room for this year's market garden. Both are humbling activities. I can nurture seeds and hope that they grow, but much of the miracle of growth is out of my hands. I didn't create the soil or the sun. I can't control whether the Spring is wet or dry, early or late.

Being close to the earth and soil also grounds me. It helps me learn humility. Being "grounded" is not a new idea. It was not invented by the new age folks. The juxtaposition of lightness and weight has been a theme in philosophy and religion for thousands of years.

Mulan Kundera says, "The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man's body. The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life's most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become.

Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant.

What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?"

But the image of finding meaning in a burden is not new. Of course, the burden of bearing the cross is one of the oldest metaphors or images of this same idea.

When I "take leave of the earth" I become only "half real" and my life becomes "insignificant." If my life is close to the earth. Intertwined with the soil, from which springs sustenance both physical and spiritual, I find meaning.

Sometimes when I think of our farm. The garden, the critters-the chickens, cats, dog, goats, and pigs-I think "dang" how am I going to spend a week fly-fishing in the mountains with all these things relying on me? I lived a life as light as air for years. No commitments, no responsibilities. As the number of burdens I carry has increased, so has my sense of fulfillment. Meaning, purpose, peace, and serenity has increased. How ironic.

1 comment:

  1. We choose balance, don't we?

    Pleased to make your acquaintance.