Why I Wake Early
by Mary Oliver
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
My father woke early every morning and walked up our block to the beach to watch the sunrise and swim a mile in the warm Atlantic waters of eastern Florida. He did this most every day for 40 years, right up until he died. He would try to rouse me as a teenager to join him, but I rarely did. I was not a morning person. Like most teenagers, I enjoyed staying up late and sleeping late into the morning. I have learned to be a morning person; first as a mother, and now as a farmer. It isn’t always easy for me to wake early, but I am always glad when I do. I love the quiet, the bird song, the light and the colors of the sky and clouds. There is a beauty that is particular to the dawn, and it makes me miss my dad and wish I had joined him on more of those early mornings. Perhaps he knew that one day I would understand why he made the effort; through my own experience. I try to remember this with my own children; not to push, but to lead by example; knowing that they will come to love what they love in their own way.
I feel privileged to farm this land with my family, and I do hope that one of our children might choose this life also. Because, despite the hard work day in and out, it provides beauty, freedom and creativity. I also believe that it may be an answer to many of the current environmental problems we now face; including the depletion of our soils, and the pollution of our air, soil and water; which contribute to so many health problems. The farmers who I know here in Maine care about these problems; through the care and stewardship they give to the land, they are helping to slowly change the way we eat, and the way we think about farming. My hope is that this small movement will flourish, grow and become sustainable for future generations. My dream is that there will be millions of farmers, young and old, waking early to see the sunrise before beginning the work of feeding their neighbors, long into the future.
The 13th Share
Sage and Rosemary bunches
Sacred Basil bunches