Build Your Own World

“Every spirit builds itself a house, and beyond its house a world; and beyond its world, a heaven.” 
Ralph Waldo Emerson

My friend Stephen phoned on his way to work. A former intern of my lavender farm, he’s my beekeeping buddy. As usual, his voice rang with expectation, stirring another pot of adventure.
“What are your farm plans for this season?” I asked.
           “I’m going to build a fence around my raised beds like the one you built around your vegetable garden.”
            Good idea, I thought. A music teacher and visionary, he built a stage for musical performances, one structure of several he plans to raise for a hands-on agricultural school on his acreage. Admirable.
                  We talked about rental cost for a posthole digger, and to look out for rocks that can lurch the machine in erratic directions.
Resembling a Grange meeting of two, he asked, “Have you bought your seeds yet? Are you planting something new this spring?”
“No, I have enough seeds from last year, but I’m planting blackberries, the big ones, beside the raspberries. The patch needs a new fence around it anyway, so we’ll be digging holes, too.”
                  This winter’s snow and wind destroyed the wimpy posts and bird-proof netting I installed around the raspberries almost three springs ago. I used what I had then, knew the fence was temporary. It served the purpose. Raspberries wait in our freezer for smoothies, pies, and granola.
                  “How are your chickens?” I asked Stephen.
                  “Oh, they’re great!”
                  Going on four years, his hens are the hardiest, most productive girls I know. Stephen built their house, too.
                  We said good-bye and commenced our separate workdays. As the blizzard blew snow upon the farm the past two days, I recalled how this young man walked onto my land when I needed his labor and positive spirit. It was a privilege and joy to hear his vision of farming to educate others.
Stephen was and is my primary bee teacher. His honeybees lived here two years until he moved them to his own farm. There, we extracted and bottled our honey together.
Dear Reader, it is sacred to observe a friend build a house he truly loves. It is a type of heaven to witness his obedience to the raw, pure idea in his mind. The fruit of that spirit unfolds in abundant proportions, like raspberry canes in composted soil.
“As when the summer comes from the south,” Emerson wrote, “the snow banks melt, and the face of the earth becomes green before it, so shall the advancing spirit create its ornaments along its path, and carry with it the beauty it visits, and the song which enchants it; it shall draw beautiful faces, warm hearts, wise discourse, and heroic acts, around its way, until evil is no more seen.”
We may know then, as Emerson declared, the world exists for us to plant, grow, and harvest. This is our dominion; the place our father Adam called his house.