The Peaceableness of Topsoil



The most exemplary nature is that of the topsoil.
It is very Christ-like in its passivity and beneficence,
and in the penetrating energy that issues
out of its peaceableness.
It increases by experience,
by the passage of seasons over it,
growth rising out of it
and returning to it,
not by ambition or aggressiveness.
It is enriched
by all things that die
and enter into it.

It keeps the past,
not as history or as memory,
but as richness, new possibility.
Its fertility is always building up
out of death into promise.
Death is the bridge or the tunnel
by which its past
enters its future.
~Wendell Berry from “The Native Hill”



One thought on “The Peaceableness of Topsoil

  1. Beautiful pics, and Berry’s thoughts from Native Hill are moving, almost ethereal.
    I am constantly enthralled (and a little envious perhaps) to see how gifted poets can
    take ordinary images and scenes and see so far beyond and deep within.
    What a fascinating, productive world their minds inhabit. We so need to have
    their ‘second sight,’ especially in a world in which we are constantly bombarded by sound bites
    and phony TV ‘reality’ shows, causing us to so easily miss what is right in front of and all around us.
    And we surely are the poorer for that inability.


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