There is such joy in sunshine! This last week brought the first stirrings of the spring to come. Daffodils have begun to bloom and all the other bulbs are beginning their movement towards the beauty to come. Flowers are one of my favorite things about farming and about life. Their beauty offers something incalculable to the soul.
What is this human capacity to draw feeling from beauty? How do these mechanisms work within our bodies? What is this upwelling of emotion that I experience looking at the sunset or seeing the colors of spring luxuriating in the breeze? There is such opportunity for joy in life, abundant, overflowing happiness in the glowing daffodil and deep perfume of the hyacinth.
I think about the luxury of hot, running water. About how the ability to stand in the shower and cascade as much hot water as I want over myself is such a rare gift in human history. Hot water changes our potential for sanitary living and food processing. It helps us be well and provides us with deep comfort, though for the most part we take it for granted as though it doesn’t matter.
When the pipes freeze in the winter we might pause to think about the depth of importance that water has for our lives. Losing the ability to shower changes how you think about it, like the old saying about not knowing what you have until it’s gone. We do well to reflect with gratitude on the things we take for granted, some may be simple yet some are often the foundation cornerstones of our lives.
Family are the people we spend the most time with, those to whom we are related and those whom we choose. It is so easy to drop into the patterns and habits of life, going through the routines without taking the time to honor the engagements that we share. We show our love in our actions, caring for each other in this journey of life, but we often lack the emotional language to articulate these feelings.
Conveying love takes practice, a learning of the pathway through the mind and consciousness. Love is such a big feeling that we often struggle to find the way to let it out of our mouths. Communication is shorthand for emotion, an attempt to describe the infinite. The more we practice it, the closer we become to that which we strive to articulate. If I speak in love, it becomes easier and more natural to be in love, and vice versa.
I was always taught to speak love unto others, but for the longest time it felt awkward and strange, as though it was too much feeling to bring to interaction. Once I realized that the simple joy of feeling and expressing love is a key to the door of joy in life, it allowed my true nature to step forth.
Experiencing love for others is a powerful feeling that defines our humanity. We are driven yet supported by the strength of love, and we use it to carry us through the difficult parts of our lives. When Mama was passing, it was love that guided our actions, caring for her through her final journey. Love is the glue that binds us all as we go about our living.
The more that we can express love, both in our actions and in our words, the easier it becomes to recognize and participate in it. Like all things in life, the more we practice love the easier it becomes, and the more of a ripple effect it creates.
We all know what it feels like to come away from an interaction feeling lighter, feeling the smile that comes from positive shared human expression. We know how good this is, yet we often lose sight of how to foster it in the hectic nature of life.
I try to use love as an affirmation for parting from others, as a convocation of being. When we are told that we are loved, we become more able to tell others that we love them. As we gain emotional intelligence through experience, we become more able to express love and to receive it. Words are power, casting spells that become reality through repetition. When we speak love, we both receive and foster love in others. This positive feedback loop is one of the fundamental driving forces of humanity.
If we think of love as a Calling, as the fundamental tenet for religion in the deep sense of the word, then we come to recognize the trappings of belief system and ritual that are used to express the infinite. Because it is infinite, there are an infinite number of ways to arrive there, and we each walk our own path.
Love has the power to light the way forward for ourselves as individuals in community and for our humanity as a whole. Like the depth of I AM, love is irreducible, a fundament of life. May we see love, believe love, be love. Much love and great success to you on your journey!
Casey O'Neill co-operates HappyDay Farms, a micro-diversified farm in northern Mendocino County, California. His family raises two acres of Sun+Earth and DEMPure Certified vegetables, poultry and medical cannabis in a small-farm setting while working towards sustainability. Casey is stoked about sharing food, medicine and cultivation techniques with others. He is passionate about representing small farmers and works to support Mendocino County policy-makers in crafting sensible regulations. Casey also serves on the board of Sun+Earth Certified. You can find his radio show podcast at HappyDay Farms - Farm and Reefer Report on iTunes or Soundcloud. You can also find out more about HappyDay Farms here: http://www.happydayfarmscsa.com, on Instagram @happydayfarms and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/casey.oneill.395/ or https://www.facebook.com/happydayfarmscsa/