“Tell me a story of when you and Daddy moved to the farm,” Ellie says frequently.
Last week, I told her, “11 years ago today…”
March 2 marked 11 years since the farm became ours, and we’ve been looking back each day, talking about what Daddy and I were doing and how this journey started.
Often though, in my mind, I’m looking ahead these days. Long ahead.
Thinking about this land and Ellie and how I can make this farm healthy and helpful for the Earth and for Matt’s and my descendants.
I recall a quote I read once from an Indigenous elder (I’ve not been able to find the source). He was speaking of settlers, and he asked, “When are you going to act like you’re going to stay?”
When I see how people treat our land, water and natural resources, I feel like the settler mentality is often one of, “We’ll stay until we use it all up. Then we’ll move on to somewhere else.”
But the farm is different. Thinking of our child, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond being here, hopefully, makes me think of the Earth, and specifically this part of the Earth differently. I’m thinking about sequestering carbon, regenerative agriculture, health of the soil and trees, productivity of the fields, diversity of plants and animals, quality of the air and water, and sustaining life for all beings on this farm.
The farm is near the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee peoples. The Haudenosaunee are the source of Seventh Generation Principle. Rooted in an ancient Haudenosaunee philosophy, the principle states that “the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.” (Source)
That is our great-great-great-great-great grandchildren. Two hundred years from now. Eleven years is a baby step in that journey. But we’ve started. Now I’m trying to look ahead to where we’re going.