Words You Don’t Forget

The grass crunches underfoot. That isn’t quite right for Wisconsin in April. Looks to be a dry spring…

I spent time today wrapping apple trees. The heirloom orchard is shared with the sheep, who learned from the goats that when grass is down tender bark is great to eat.

As I meandered through the orchard, I recalled a young man here as a woofer (www.wwoof-usa.org) who had wrapped these trees years before. He told me he was studying agriculture and business. I said, “So you may be the CEO of Monsanto one day.” He said, “Yes.”And I said, “Good, then I am really glad you are here.”

Throughout the week, we worked together. He was quick to point out ways to save time and make money. I listened. Then I would point out the joy in simplicity, the kindness to the animals and the land, the value of intention and the honing of being conscious…

When it came to shearing the sheep, he was left in disbelief. I shear my sheep with scissors. For one moment in time they get some corn and I get some wool. We both keep our dignity and our friendship.

There’s much more to stewardship than money.

The following spring the pressure was on and we were looking to create more cash flow, so I wrote my young friend for some business advice. His reply, “Don’t change Echo Valley. What I learned there has stayed with me. I think about it often.”

I guess kindness has its own currency. Perhaps it is nearing time to replace the old one. Count me in.



photo compliments of Noho

4 thoughts on “Words You Don’t Forget

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