Through classes, readings, speakers, and direct interaction and relationships with the people themselves I have been overwhelmed by many of the harsh historical and present realities in Latin America: the wars, the oppression, the poverty, systemic and structural exploitation…there is much to be discouraged and disheartened by. Yet at the same time there is also much from which to take joy and hope. At the moment I have the opportunity to witness and live an alternative way of life that stands as a rock against the current of injustices. What this little family has chosen to do with their biodynamic farm is far from the easy choice. Rodrick says he has chosen freedom yet he works harder than almost anyone I know. But still in many ways he is right, freer than almost anyone I know too. Freedom does not mean necessarily mean living easy, in fact living easy could be indicative of the opposite. Lives attached to phone screens, bank account numbers, and a regular salary are more often than not easy compared to this lifestyle of self-sustenance but are they more free? Perhaps not. Yet despite the long work days, tired bodies, and dirt, sweat, and blisters there is the freedom of being in direct connection with something both physical and spiritual, the relationship with the Earth that has its nexus at the point where hands meet soil to give life. And Earth gives back in the fullness of its riches, in the pleasure of being cared for, respected, and loved in a time when too often it is given chemicals, bombs, and garbage instead of patient hands doing patient work.
“And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for mighty, distant nations Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war.”