Nothing worth its salt comes easy. I enjoy Wendell Berry and his reminders that the world is a better place if we live in it fully in the moment and mindful of this very moment and place.
If we will have the wisdom to survive,
to stand like slow-growing trees
on a ruined place, renewing, enriching it,
if we make our seasons welcome here,
asking not too much of earth or heaven,
then a long time after we are dead
the lives our lives prepare will live
here, their houses strongly placed
upon the valley sides, fields and gardens
rich in the windows. The river will run
clear, as we will never know it,
and over it, birdsong like a canopy.
On the levels of the hills will be
green meadows, stock bells in noon shade.
On the steeps where greed and ignorance
the old forest, an old forest will stand,
its rich leaf-fall drifting its roots.
The veins of forgotten springs will have
Families will be singing in their fields.
In the voices they will hear a music
risen out of the ground. They will take
nothing from the ground they will not
whatever the grief at parting. Memory,
native to this valley, will spread over it
like a grove, and memory will grow
into a legend, legend into song, song
into sacrament. The abundance of this
the songs of its people and its birds,
will be health and wisdom and indwelling
light. This is no paradisal dream.
Its hardship is its possibilities.
When we discussed this poem, students understood that success is not always an easy journey. Some important aspects are the hard work and disappointments along the way. The word and phrase that caught their attention was “This is no paradisal dream. Its hardship is its possibilities.