Friday, August 26, 2011

A Time To Plant: Life Lessons in Work, Prayer, and Dirt

A TIME TO PLANT: LIFE LESSONS IN WORK, PRAYER AND DIRT by Kyle Kramer isn't a book I would normally pick up. However, when I was on a 5-day retreat over July 4th weekend, Kyle was one of the speakers. He was eloquent, intelligent and funny. He works at St. Meinrad Abbey in southern Indiana as a teacher, and he and his family run an organic farm about 15 miles away. A TIME TO PLANT is the story of how he acquired his land, learned how to farm, built his house and started his family. All of this is couched in the main principles and importance of Benedictine spirituality in his life and work. The Abbey is one of those incredibly peaceful places on earth where I could imagine staying for many fulfilling days and weeks on end. Kramer also has twins, as I do, but they didn't know until his wife was giving birth! When you read the circumstances under which they brought their twins home, you will cringe and then applaud when you realize how hard they both worked to get their house and farm in working order. This book was a slow and satisfying read. Not slow in a boring sense, but slow in the sense that you wanted to savor every word and give yourself the time to go back and re-read certain sentences because they are so chocked full of meaning and insight. This book was incredibly well-written as well. While I was at the Abbey, my friend and I took and 90 minute walk one evening and we were both anxious to see if we could find Kramer's land (not knowing it was 15 miles away) because the way he described his land as a real, living entity made us want to see it for ourselves. I guess you could call this an eco-tree-hugger book, but it made me smile and want to go and stick my hands in the dirt!

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