Many years ago the instructor of my Gurdjieff class told me that I had a rich life. She was referring to the fact that my inner world contained lots of interesting ideas. I had developed my talents as a visual artist, a creative writer, and now she was taken by my having purchased 10 acres of Illinois farmland, built a passive solar home and planted hundreds of wonderful trees on the property.
These trees included various fruit and nut trees, but their utility went even beyond that. Some trees provided shelter from wintery winds, others, cool shade in the dog days of summer. They all improved the soil and raised my water table! The birds and small mammals certainly appreciated my efforts to reclaim the property for Mother Nature.
Finally, my trees were chosen for beauty. This beauty was provided by the different growing characteristics of the trees, their type of bark, leaf shape, bloom and fall color.
Nyssa sylvatica (pepperidge, black tupelo, sour gum) is a tree that performs well in wet soil—so I planted it by my pond. But its real beauty comes in fall when its leaves turn a glossy orange and red. Its color easily competes with the sugar maples in northern growing zones and is a reliable color producer for warmer areas.
(The photos above are of the actual sour gum tree growing on my property.)
There was a spiritual angle to this entire project. I shared the deeper, spiritual significance of this lifestyle in my first book Sermon From The Compost Pile.
But rather than counting on people reaching into their pockets and purchasing the book I decided to bring a little of the beauty and richness of that lifestyle to my readers with today’s post. I hope I brought a little beauty into your life!