Our culture is confused about food and farming. We believe that we are in a power-over relationship with the world, and particularly with our food. We are so enamored with dominance that we’ve lost sight of the inherent partnership between plants and animals, between prey and predator, between the farmer and the fields. Both sides benefit, always. This is true of all life. An unbalanced advantage does not last long in the real world, even with all our artificial efforts.
Our confusion leads us to telling tales of sacrifice in spring, to focusing on death in this time of rebirth. This is sad and bizarre. But even worse, our grain god death cults hide both the cleverness of plants and the beneficent role of humans in creating and sustaining life. We don’t spread death on spring fields; we plant life. Without the mobility of animal partners, plants would not be as successful. And then none of us would breathe… So we are their servants, spreading them wherever we go. Our favorite food plants have to do nothing but make millions of seeds in fruit and grain, and the next generation of life is assured.
Our confusion also obscures one salient point about fruit and grain — what we harvest is not a living plant… it is the seed. We are killing nothing. And yet, our grain gods are all murdered… strange fruit from this confused culture…
no sacrifice necessary
i do not celebrate sacrifice in spring death has its barren days it need not encroach on rejuvenation nor do grain gods die at human hands theirs is a life tied to the sun one round and done we harvest what is gone spreading seeds for future cycles becoming feet for the rooted mine are the hands of the midwife planting green life in partnership that we two may grow anew we forget balance under the spell of spilled blood we forget that passion is love we forget what comes first ...and lasts there is no scythe in spring and autumnal reaping takes no living all is holy in itself no death needed to confer sanctity
©Elizabeth Anker 2022