“Standing in the stanchion barn while the cows are being milked, I am impressed by how quietly the work is being done. No voice is raised. There is never a sudden or violent motion. Although the work is quickly done, no one rushes. And finally comes the realization that the room is quiet because it is orderly: All the creatures there, people and animals alike, are at rest within a pattern deeply familiar to them all. That evening and the day following, as I extend my acquaintance with the farm and with Elmer Lapp’s understanding of it, I see that quiet chore time as a nucleus or gathering point in a pattern that includes the whole farm. The farm is thriving because what I would call its structural problems have been satisfactorily solved. The patterns necessary to its life have been perceived and worked out.”
I’d like to share one of my favorite passages from Wendell Berry. It’s taken from the essay “Elmer Lapp’s Place (1979),” from the book Bringing it to the Table: on farming and food.