A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it... We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive... And yet we could hurt no man that we believe loves us. Let us try then what love will do: for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.
William Penn

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone...
George Fox

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

La Vall de Laguart III: The Farm

The Baldwin's farm in La Vall de Laguart consists of  a large vegetable garden, a paddock with two horses, a donkey and several goats, and a cherry orchard. While I was there, there were three HelpX volunteers, including myself. Daniella, from California, had been there the longest; four months or so. She did a lot of very good cooking, she watched over the kids at times, looked after the dogs and milked the goats. Aldis, from Latvia, got there a week before I did. He was a general handyman and looked after the animals in the paddock. Aldis is a tough, New Age mystic pilgrim; he travels penniless most of the time, and almost always sleeps in the open. His destination was the vicinity of Granada, where he hopes to find a community to live among. As for me, the not so tough, Quaker pilgrim, with a host more often than not these days, and usually at least a little money, and a tent and a sleeping bag for the nights when I have no host, my job was digging the garden. I was a human tiller, which I enjoyed. I found it meditative, and I liked seeing the slow but sure results. Phil Baldwin taught me the basics of milking goats, and I managed to get about half of what  he or Daniella got out of them, but I never felt comfortable milking the goats, and they didn't feel comfortable with me either. One goat in particular, Scruffy, though I tried to bribe her with choice weeds dug from the garden, had it out for me. She routinely bit me or butted me with her head. I found digging easier. The ground may have been hard at times, but it never pushed me around.

The meditation house, which became my house for most of the time I was at the Baldwin's farm.

The view out my front door

The main house and caravans

The paddock

A friendly goat

Philip Baldwin milking a goat. Phil milked goats the wu wei Way, then made curds and whey, though when asked couldn't say how much the curds and whey he made weighed.

Linda, the donkey

The garden, ready for planting.

Scruffy, the goat who bit me. I did not milk her the wu wei Way.

Wijnand Boon, the pilgrim journalist who inspired my own pilgrimage,  pulling weeds.

Me, posing... I mean digging.

Aldis, fellow HelpX volunteer, getting ready to feed the critters.

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