Almanack Contributor Adam Wilson

Adam Wilson has taken up residence at an abandoned farm in Keeseville, NY, home to the Adgate/Schermerhorn family for over two hundred years. He grazes Sheep and Cows there, learns alongside a growing team of young working steers, and labors to write stories from and of that particular place, the farm above the bend in the Ausable where Geese stopover on their long journey. His writings include the Peasantry School Newsletter, where this essay first appeared. Sign up for it here:

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Un-defending Our Selves

this is Maria, photo provided by Adam WilsonGreetings Neighbors and Strangers,

This story began right out of college, when I moved to a farm and fell head over heels in love with the reckless generosity of soil, sunlight and rainfall, especially as made manifest in the sequence of cows to grass to humans.  Can you picture the way the shape and shadow of another human face or body can take up residence in your imagination, exerting a gravitational pull on your path through the world?  Now translate that sense of attraction to the landscape.  I couldn’t keep my eyes off the curvature of a fertile meadow, glimpsed from the road, in silhouette against woods and sky.  I fell for field after field, allowing my mind to fantasize about the way a small herd of Jersey cows would graze across each hill and hollow.  Every farm I saw looked more perfect than the last. » Continue Reading.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Urgent and Beautiful Gift of Making Home

frosty field, image by Ben Sklar

Greetings Neighbors and Strangers,

I don’t take in news directly, and yet the throbbing sorrow of the headlines has been creeping in of late, clinging to me as I make my rounds at the Farm.  Last year at this time I wrote a piece called Aching Beauty—my attempt to describe the excruciating experience of watching the landscape gather herself toward winter, of bearing witness as summer’s green riches bend their heads and feed the ground.  Autumn is an act of radical love that the headlines will never report.  And yet humans in these parts—even the settlers—used to live with their attention trained upon the landscape in a way scarcely imaginable today.  They couldn’t have missed the reckless generosity of life continuing.

Home isn’t a metaphor or a feeling.  Home is a capacity to bend one’s head and feed the ground.  Home is a shelter woven from restraint and from limit.  Home is an act of love that will never make the headlines.  Humans are capable of living out this kind of love.  If no one says this aloud, how could we be expected to remember?  Maybe that’s why you’re taking the time to read this Newsletter: you haven’t given up on humans either.  Well, I’m glad you’re here and I don’t take the responsibility of your attention lightly, given the troubles mounting by the hour.  Unlike the commercial media, however, your active participation will be required for this Newsletter to continue.  In fact, you and the other nine-hundred and seventy-seven people subscribed here are the ones who will either figure out how to sustain the work or not.  The kind of love I am describing asks for workers, not spectators or consumers.  Let’s see what we can do together, against the odds. » Continue Reading.

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