As I’ve become more passionate about the justice issues associated with sustainable and responsible food choices (and all that entails), I have become a huge fan of Wendell Berry, a writer and farmer who was thinking about and defending these ideas long before I was even born. I’ve become so enamored (my husband might say obsessed!) that I now affectionately refer to him by only his first name (there’s a picture of me with Wendell in the background at an event at IU last fall – I was quite excited, as you can tell).
Flourish, a magazine and organization created to encourage Christians to better care for creation, re-published Berry’s essay, “The Gift of Good Land” last week. Last year, Flourish asked Christian leaders to reflect on this seminal essay in light of its thirtieth anniversary and received quite a flurry of responses.
Tri Robinson writes
Wendell Berry’s message in “The Gift of Good Land” may be more relevant today than when it was written over thirty years ago. With a very succinct and clear approach, Berry has reminded me that true heroism is far more dependent on a life that tenaciously makes consistent, long term, and righteous choices than one that pursues the notoriety of being an advocate for reformation.
Ashley Woodiwiss writes
To re-read “The Gift of Good Land” is thus a sort of homecoming. But like all homecomings, re-reading “Gift” is a poignant and emotionally fraught experience. It is not only to see again those words that first moved and stirred the soul. It is also to re-live memories of another time and another place. It is to remember a much simpler life. Now 30 years on, these words ring with a melancholy sobriety. Yes, he saw it then and all so clearly. I am even more convinced of that now. But having ears, we have not heard; having eyes, we have not seen.
Read the essay (it makes a wonderful Earth Day reflection) and then read what some of our best thinkers and writers on these topics have to say about it. I think I enjoyed Ragan Sutterfield’s response the most thus far. How about you? What stuck out?