The emptiness of the city depicted in the video shared as part of today’s post resonates with the “fallow grounding” that Sherry writes about. Our cities are lying fallow, waiting to awaken again.

Fallow grounding
by Sherry Schmode, Shoreline, WA

Before the coronavirus, most of us were going about with very busy lives, filling out time with work, gatherings, classes, travel. We are now being told to stay home for the good of all. And it is for the good of all.

This reminds me of a farming term, “Let the field lie fallow.” It is a time the field is not cultivated but left alone to rebalance itself and gain the nutrients for when it will become fertile again.

Growing up on a farm, we had lots of cats, a dog, milk cows, feeder cattle, and hogs. We raised corn, alfalfa, soybeans, and oats. I took long walks in the grove of trees. Communed with the cats and dog.

Mom was always busy, cooking three meals a day, washing, ironing, cleaning, baking. In the evening, she could be found darning socks. Dad did chores, milked cows and fed livestock. In the spring, summer and fall, he worked long hours in the fields.  

I had a lot of time alone—time to learn to entertain myself. I did have some simple chores, but mostly I was allowed to just play and be a kid. I learned a good work ethic from my parents and a pride in workmanship.

As I got older, it became my job to go out to the pasture and herd the cows in for milking. I milked a small brown jersey named Brownie. Dad could milk three cows to my one. There was a radio in the barn, and polka music came over the air at 6 PM from Yankton, South Dakota. We lived in the upper NE corner of Nebraska. The Yankton station came in loud and clear.

We did not go into town except once a week to buy groceries. During the summer, on Saturday nights, there would be a movie in an outdoor theater. People sat on wooden planks.

Crops were rotated from year to year and sometimes fields were left fallow. During those times, the government paid farmers not to plant. The government had other reasons for having fields rest, but it was a good thing for the ground, just as it’s a good thing that our present government is going to send us checks for staying home and staying safe.

I feel this is a time for “fallow grounding.” It is a time to slow down, and allow ourselves to just be and stay calm. It is a time to be grounded and re-balance ourselves. There will be time to “re-seed” our lives when this is over. 

Sherry and her grandfather
Video of Downtown Seattle Battling COVID-19

My thanks to Colin Berg for suggesting I share this video with you. Wherever we are, the message is the same. Stay home, stay strong.

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