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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

Wendell Berry: Christmas presents are no basis for relationship, love is a practice

Nativity2webJust in case you're wondering today if you need to buy one more present for the one's you love in your household, here's a good word from Wendell Berry from the book, "Conversations With Wendell Berry;

People who love each other need to have something they can do for each other, and it will need to be something necessary, not something frivolous. You can't carry out a relationship on the basis of Christmas and anniversary and birthday presents. It won't work.

You have to be doing something that you need help with, and your wife needs to be doing something that she needs help with. You do needful, useful things for each other, and that seems to me to be the way that a union is made...You're being made a partner by your partner's needs and the things that you're required to do to help...Love is not just a feeling; it's a practice, something you practice whether you feel like it or not. If you have a relationship with anybody - a friend, a family member, a spouse - you have to understand the terms of that relationship to do things for those people, and you do them whether you feel like it or not. If you don't it's useless...

This is what you learn as soon as you become a farmer, for instance. Once you get into a relationship with even so much as a vegetable garden, you realize that you have to do the work whether you want to or not. You may have got into it because of love, but there are going to be days when you are sick and you're going to have to do your work anyway. With animals, the work is even more inescapable. There's no way out if you have a milk cow, no reprieve...She makes the milk and you've got to go get it.

(I think I've been reading too much Wendell Berry lately. I had a dream about buying 50 acres of farm land last night.)

Come join us at Millwood Presbyterian for one of our Christmas Eve services (5:30 pm and 7:30 pm). We'll mostly Christmas carols and light candles, but I will expand on Berry's comments about love being a practice.

Merry Christmas.



Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at goody2230@gmail.com