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Feeding in the Rain

We don't get a lot of rain in the desert, where I live. When we hear reports of floods, downpours, and storms in other parts of the country, we are always amazed as we look around at clear skies, mild to hot weather and a parched ground.

Rainfall in the south is rare, but it does happen . Usually in the form of a few days straight of rain and then it ends. That's it. That seems to be all that the Negev needs. The green comes up and we've got enough wild food and medicine to last until next year. Maybe that's why we feel so grateful when it actually rains .

The trees are happy, the animals are happy and we all feel blessed . We are out feeding for an hour or two every morning because we have a lot of animals and gardens to care for. Whenever we go to feed in the rain, we always find ourselves singing the song " Singing in the Rain". We change the word to "feeding" in the rain , of course. But there is such joy in all that the rains bring.

The moisture that the ground is so in need of. It calms down the dust that is forever present in the desert. It turns the sparse greenery into a vibrant shade of green. The trees literally come alive out of their stupor of survival mode. The birds celebrate, The animals love to romp around in it, roll in the mud and kick up their heels.

And the smell! That ozone smell that only the rain can bring. How many people miss out on that rain essence because of their mask? How many others are afraid to enjoy the outdoors in a rainstorm because they are afraid they might catch a "virus"?

I have to ponder these questions as we are mucking out stalls, milking goats while playing around with newborn babies, cleaning out dirty water bowls, getting down on hands and knees in the dirt to weed the garden (which goes to feed the animals and us), the bumps and scrapes from various rusty nails, fences and tree branches.

By the end of our "feeding in the rain" , we are muddy, wet, dirty, cold and infused with energy, love, respect, gratitude and laughter as we come tumbling back into the house with bright eyes and flushed faces to wash up and make breakfast of hot oatmeal.

Our way of life is not for everyone, but I've noticed that organic farming, pushing ourselves past our comfort zone in all kinds of weather, being in the elements, and not fearing nature, only respecting her wisdom, has kept us healthy, satisfied with simple pleasures and appreciative of how our place on earth amongst all the other species has it's purpose. We are meant to interact, breathe fresh air, get dirty, use our bodies, minds and instincts, stimulate our immune systems and to take joy in all that God has given us.

You don't have to live on a farm to take part in nature's glory.. Stand in the sun, get your heart pumping, open a window and breathe fresh air, grow plants in pots, smile, hug, go out in the rain and smell that ozone fragrance. Put your feet or hands in the dirt. There is a natural connection between us and the electrical current of the earth .

The term "grounded" (connected to the ground) insinuates level headedness, calm, directness, wisdom, humility, being in touch with reality, your roots, your past, your people, your community. On the other hand, "head in the clouds" reflects flaky, absent minded, dreaming, not living in reality, avoiding confrontation and out of touch with their surroundings. All sayings are based on observation. What I am seeing is that we are lacking this "grounding" in these times. We must reconnect to mother earth. Winter is the best time for that, when the earth is moist and cool and refreshing.

The more we connect and become part of nature, the more we become an integral part of the cycle of life. We begin to move with the natural ebb and flow. It flows through us and around us. We begin to use our senses, react and engage our emotions...... in essence, we become human once again. In doing this, our brain is stimulated, which effects our body, mood and our enthusiasm which might otherwise be dampened by depression.

I truly hope that everyone gets outside this winter, despite reports of lurking dangers. Even if it's only for a few precious minutes a day, breathe deep, feel the sun on your skin, dig your toes into the the earth, stand outside when it rains and feed your soul.

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