Saturday, July 23, 2011

Practical, simple, enchanted living feeds the soul

Auburn Meadow Farm, a small "modern heritage foodstead" in western Pennsylvania, raises American Milking Devon cattle for dairy and beef.  It wants to "reintroduce an extraordinary eating experience while providing a simple, joyful life" for its animals. Thursday's blog post, "In which we are enchanted", introduces readers to Thomas Moore's book, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life. While packing household items during a family move, Jackie Cleary writes, "His most famous books are Care of the Soul and Soul Mates, but the two that most feed my soul are the The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life and The Education of the Heart. I found The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life first and of course had to plop down in the middle of the action for a quick skim. Here I found interesting observations about that uneasy tension between dreams and practicality so especially polarized in our American culture."

Quotes from The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life fill Cleary's post including Moore's observation:
“Over the years, when I’ve lectured on food, cynical listeners have complained that I’m reducing psychology to the themes of modern living and gourmet magazines. When I first heard such objections I felt defensive and concerned. Was I not being clear about the depth of these issues? Then I realized that magazines about food and home may be more important, even if they are intellectually light, than thick tomes of research and philosophy. Now I don’t mind being associated with books of recipes and advice about furnishings and entertainment. Of course, they can be superficial and middle-class, but their simplicity is not a sign of their insignificance.”
Cleary ends with "And so this evening, we ponder the importance of two words rarely used anymore – enchantment and delight. Yet that’s exactly what I feel every day as I stand in the special glow unique to summer evenings, pumping water into the trough and watching the cows graze their favorite evening pasture." The site includes a Cow Gallery of farm personalities.