Spring on the farm is a glorious time, especially this year after a winter with such an astounding snowpack. Verdant green overflows every nook and cranny – such a contrast to the past couple dry years. Inevitably the new life invokes contemplations of the long line of life and years which have come before. Some aspects feel like kindness. Some are bittersweet. In all aspects, spring is a conduit of connection. We were especially surprised this spring by a reach-out for connection from our local community. We were invited into a production called Story Share – a superbly executed evening of integrated arts and community. Strikingly, the fully packed house got to share glimpses into the lives of 4 sets of folks (one of which was us :0 ). Taking the time to hear each other’s stories, and then to see those stories reflected back through the lenses of sculpture, poetry, prose, music, and live improv theater was magical. The perspective shifting set up a resonance of connection which is hard to convey, yet was profound.
We’d like to take a stab at sharing at least a part of it, because you are part of our community too. And because the echoes of sharing back and forth bring our hearts alive.
Below, you’ll find a sample of the writing and sculpture derived from our story – that of family generations growing fruit. From the Story Share 2023 night hosted by the Blue Sage Center for the Arts:
By Michael Cooper @michaelcoopermusicandlyrics
Story Share 2023 – Ela Farms
“If we sell you a two-worm apple and it’s only got one
Bring it back – and we’ll give you one with two!
We stand behind the fruit we grow:
We’ll make it right if it’s not so!”
I am the worm
Inside of the apple
The apple from Ela Farms.
I peel a piece
And burrow in
To feel alive
Beneath the skin
I steal a bite
Reveal a seed
The sweetest crunch
My meal amounts to
So much more:
The heart inside
The apple core.
His reasons for coming back?
“To raise kids in a place where they can jump on bike
Play in the dirt
Dig a hole
Pick a peach
Walk outside and look up at the mountains
Get your hands dirty, feel things
(Even though he doesn’t do that as much as he used to anymore, because he’s in the office a lot…)
What would she miss?
“I’d miss the cascade of growth
The profusion of blooms in the spring
And watching them – burst
And then get tiny, into little, tiny fruits that start to grow
And then those get picked
And the leaves change
And they fall…
And the trees are bare
I love that.”
I tried a tablespoon of Ela Farms applesauce this afternoon:
And it was glorious.
Not too sweet. Smooth. Velvety.
“There is a satisfaction
Of taking sunlight and water
And turning it into really good fruit.”
Codling moth netting extends as far as the eye can see, like generations:
Long, long, long rows of trees, completely covered in continuous sheets
Diaphanous ghosts, scaring away the worms, so they can’t get into the apples
Mother Nature is dynamic.
Organic farming is dynamic.
There is so much heart.
Every morning, a mediation, a prayer.
Thank you, grandmother bee.
Thank you, grandfather sky.