Do You Know What Time It Is?
September 01, 2010
A full moon lit the sky over Genesis Farm as we entered into our 16 days of immersion in the New Cosmology. We had traveled from far places for this chance to work and study in Genesis Farm's Earth literacy program: Australia, Korea, and Guam, as well as from all over the North American continent.
“Do you know what time it is?” asked Miriam MacGillis on the first morning we gathered together. With that question we began our long inquiry into what it means to be humans aware of living at the end of the Cenozoic Era.
Every morning, we climbed the hill to the teepee. Four solid posts anchored the four cardinal directions around the prayer ground. Within this structure, we practiced a beautiful body prayer that carried us deeply into our work, and as we prayed we looked up at the ancient Kittatinny Mountains, and down into the sustainable future: straw bale housing, an array of solar panels, orchards, and an heirloom seed garden.
Our days were filled with intensive study of the science of the Universe story led by Larry Edwards, who holds a Ph.D. in chemical-physics from Harvard University. Films and guest speakers opened our minds to the doings of modern agriculture and the effects of the American “dream.” We toured the local bioregion, visited the thriving Ridge and Valley charter school, harvested beans and rainbow chard at the Genesis Farm Community-Supported Garden, peered into the workings of a composting toilet, and took in the outdoor art of Frederick Franck at Pacem in Terris in nearby Warwick, NY.
The challenging content of our study was interspersed and supported by deep ritual offered by Miriam and Genesis Farm staff member Lori Gold. Early in the program, Miriam met us at the art studio and taught us how to craft small leather medicine bags.
“No humans have ever lived through the end of a geologic era,” she said, as we cut, stitched and beaded our projects. “Wearing a medicine bag can remind us that we are carrying an incredible calling at this moment of evolution, this transition time on the planet.”
Every day, we were nourished with an extravaganza of locally-grown food prepared by the Genesis Farm cooks. We ate together at long outdoor picnic tables, laughing and exchanging life stories—and processing the work of our days. It was hard to leave our fellow pilgrims, our new friends, at the end of our time together. And yet, what privilege to know that as we return to our daily world, we carry the seeds of the Great Work within us, along with the blessings of Genesis Farm.