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Saturday, May 16, 2009


This was really an ethereal morning, damp, sliding clouds, and the barn swallows darting everywhere. The exceptional rains have called into being a lush subtropical paradise, at least temporarily. The catawba tree is fully leafed out (I predict a bumper year for catawba worms), and the peonies along the drive are ruffled double handfuls of pink and glowing white. Clarkie Belle's (that was Tom's grandmother) white roses are arcing along the fence, the clematis are out in full lavender force, and the iris, dianthus, catmint, and thyme are all puffed up with the arrogance of a generous spring. DiAnne's love-in-a-mist would have taken over, had I not pulled up at least half of the lacy little plants, but no blooms quite yet.

Harvey Lyles, Jeff's 93 year-old biodynamic guru, was here, vivid and charming, on his way to visit a lady friend in North Carolina.

We had a morning meeting in The Church of Outdoor Dining over breakfast, with Harvey talking about the history of biodynamics. I have to confess that a lot of it sounds like slightly crazed hocus-pocus to me, but I must also confess that Harvey is definitely NOT slightly crazed, and his calm, matter-of-fact prayer, calling on the spiritual essences of the planets and the constellations to protect and bless our land, and the land of the friends of Bells Bend, was a powerful moment. I found myself mentally walking the boundaries of our farm, and the properties of our neighbors, considering the people, the plants, and the animals who live in each place.

Harvey also placed a band of protection against verroa mites around the two bee hives on our front lawn, and talked and demonstrated dowsing--not just for water, but for other forces he feels he can detect around living beings.

While he was talking about angels guiding us from life to reincarnated life, the three vultures standing with spread wings on a bare tree down by the creek looked over their shoulders at us.
Not particularly expectantly, I didn't think.

Well, I'm a hard-headed no-god sceptic, and still don't believe in angels, and that's ok with Harvey, who is simply confident that things change in their own time, perhaps even those of us who are less evolved.

It was an extraordinary morning, spent in the presence of something extraordinary, and somehow Bells Bend has indeed been blessed, and we, the Friends of the Bend, can't help but think that kindness and generosity and joy will unfold, a jungle of spiritual biomass, along with the peonies, beans, and tomatoes.

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