THE LIGHT?

You know how last time I wrote you a letter, I was talking about how I felt I was coming out of a long shambly walk down a long dark tunnel. Now I am standing out in the light at the end of my tunnel blinking in the flash of an incredible sea change of social discourse.

Black Lives Matter. Hallelujah! A cry that needed a million voices to be heard. Shame on us.

I get that there is the fear of violence and more looting. And I understand that I am not an American so I don’t really have a right to speak. And I get that many people are afraid.

And I am not black. I trust the black people in my community to be telling it true. This many voices is a revelation and a movement of such significance: to ignore it or fear it or speak against the essence of their voices is arrogance. Dominance is the same as oppression and I reject the call to dominate my black neighbors. Instead I will feed them. Bread. Of course.

We will all do what we can. And as usual I fall squarely into Martha’s camp. Mary is out there fighting for her voice to be heard and acted on. I am Martha in the kitchen feeding her so she stays strong. Carrying my basket of bread behind her.

I was thinking of what to write to you, in my farm blog that seldom drifts into politics- though honestly this is not a political issue – this is an issue of humanity and a very American issue. And I live in America and cannot ignore these cries. But I was sitting on the step thinking – in a rare moment of stillness while the dough got to work, when Mr Flowers, using his broken leg as a crutch, raised up his tail feathers and shook them. Calling out.

Even balanced on one leg he lifted that weight. And his voice rung out across the farm. I did not think he would be able to do it – on one leg.

The sunrise this morning.

I am baking bread again today. I will bake over thirty loaves once I am done. I have two food pantrys’ attached to community centers- one a dance studio in Pilsen and one a community center in Englewood – that I want to befriend and support. Naturally I wish to feed the children. I will tell you more about that another time.

I am sending bread at this point but I am also designing a kit called ‘Bake your own Bread in a Box.’ Everything to make one loaf of bread – with a recipe. I will enable a button in the janiesmill.com website so anyone can buy these boxes and/or donate them and I will deliver them into the South Side every week. What do you think? This might be fun for the young people – to bake themselves a loaf of nutritious bread. The box will have enough flour, salt, and yeast to make one loaf. And a recipe. I hope they will invite me up to come and teach bread-making classes one day!

I am being encouraged to make a short utube vid to go along with the recipe. But I am still on the fence about that.

But I am not on the fence about answering this call from my black neighbors in any way I can.

The remaining four little pigs are growing well. Tima is on a diet in her own field because she keeps finding duck eggs and eating them. We have cut our second load of hay – it is cool and windy this morning- which is perfect for hay. Sheila is feeling her age. BooBoo moves the ducks into their night quarters every night- he is a great duck herder. The cows graze and the fields grow. The little chickens are in with the big flock now, their door will stay shut for two weeks so the little chickens learn where their new home is and will go back in to roost at night.

So far this summer there is no sign of either the skunks or bastard mink. I am on the alert though and every hole into the chook-house is blocked and checked.

The organic warthog wheat is growing!!

So the farm rolls on. And the flourmill rolls on and we are wide awake in the world. No more turning a blind eye. Eyes wide open now at the beginning of a brightly lit tunnel!

Thank you much for being where you are and who you are!

Lots of love

Cecilia

43 Comments on “THE LIGHT?

  1. Sending love and support out virtually from Ontario, Canada to those fighting the good fight. And to you … strength to accomplish your goals.

    • My Mum called me The Martha. My gregarious middle sister was our Mary. Actually my mums name was Mary so now that I think about it maybe she was the Mary.

  2. Thank you for speaking up because it is not a Black, Latino, Muslim issue but it is for the survival And rights of All humanity. Bless you, our Martha, for all you do in your small but amazing way to feed your neighbors.
    I love the idea Of a bread kit. If shipping to Canada is a possibility I’m in.
    Peace and well being
    Diana

  3. This is beautiful, thank you.

    I have a friend who is a coach and she says, wisely, I think, that some people are “activists” and others aren’t. I put activists in quotes because in that context I meant those who take to the streets and protest. So it’s much like your Martha and Mary.

    I am much more of a Martha, like you. And my activism is through writing and educating, the things I know best how to do. All of us, Marthas and Marys, have a place in changing our world for the better.

  4. I think your idea of the bake your own bread boxes is wonderful! Everyone should know where the ingredients come from and how to put them together to make a beautiful, tasty loaf of bread. You are indeed correct, what is going on is not a political issue, it is an issue regarding humanity. Love reading your blog and love the products from Jainies Mill. If you check out my blog, I posted awhile back about your flours and what a delicious pizza I make with it. I’m in southern Illinois, so I consider your products fairly local for me. Thank you for all you do.

  5. In my circle we call the Marthas camp moms. It’s a video game term for someone who stays behind and does maintenance in the camp (like crafting potions, gear repairs, organizing items, cooking, etc) that enables others to go out and do heavy lifting quests. My partner G is the camp mom in our circle – he has hung back while we organize groups to go out to protests and put our bodies in front of police knowing it can be dangerous and there is no trust in that institution in our city. We come home and he has taken care of the animals and cooked a meal. Such people are critically important. If there’s nobody to stay behind and hold down the fort, to fill our lives with joy at home, it makes it impossible to go out and fight. Every sort is needed to help.

    Thank you for making this sort of a post. I’m going to keep your words close to my heart over the next month.

  6. I agree 100%! Humanity it is and if this state of mind and action continues, eventually and gradually there will be peace in the world. I’ve never run across a ‘Martha and Mary’ concept…what does it mean? I love your idea of a ‘Bread Box’!!! If you ship to California, I’ll take a dozen to start…many folks here could use them, especially the elderly without means or family. Thank you for your beautiful ray of sunshine!!! Sunny

  7. a protest is about to take place right i front of my house in about 40 minutes. i’ve made my sign and i have a tub filled with bottles of water and assorted drinks for the protesters! it’s time for change…real change!

  8. I find it appalling after all these years that we as a community still are not where we should be. Your Bread box is a great idea! I will seeifI can do that here. I may have to get instructions from you….take care! xoxoxo

  9. Hi, Miss C! So good to read your words and feel you ‘up’ again with your very important thoughts and words! I’ve missed you greatly! Yes, this is about humanity, human kindness and caring – not just here, but throughout the world. Saw a peaceful protestor’s sign “IF NOT NOW, WHEN?” How much longer will the squabbling in the world go on until we finally figure out we ARE one and we need each other? I loved what you wrote and, if you ship your ‘Bread Boxes” to California, I’d be happy to purchase a dozen to start! Be well, be safe, be happy!

  10. A cup of tea and a slice of fresh bread and jam. That’s the way to greet your neighbour I will support your supplying the bread kits. How much healing will ripple out of that simple, awesome idea? I am hopeful

  11. I am so glad you have found a focus, a bright, oh-so-important point to draw you back to the light. You are a force of goodness Cecilia Mary Gunther! With much love, Deb

  12. SO good to hear from you, know how everyone is, how YOU are, how the farm is. Thank you for being open and learning and listening and serving! Thank you for caring about our African American brothers and sisters who have suffered unacceptably from the beginning of the European moves to this country. And making bread – how wonderful. I like the idea of the bread making kits for teens. And you have every right to express your views regardless of whether you were born in the US or not. We need every perspective and world view to help us through this challenging and loooooong overdue journey towards true equality and justice.

  13. I have read your posts for many years. Have always so enjoyed coming to visit . . . but have never felt as one with your beliefs and thoughts as I am today. Thank you for speaking up – this would not have been easy for you. Unless the so-called silent majority gets up and has a say we shall not move out of the abyss in which we find ourselves. I have cried for the many injustices in United States for many years. Celi – these can be found in so many other parts of the world as well. Australia at the moment has an incredibly successful record in its fight against the coronavirus. Yesterday we put it all at risk by going against our health advisors with over 30,000 people marching in peaceful rallies in all of the major cities. In solidarity with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement in the States but also largely to bring the similar situation regarding our own indigenous Aboriginal population to the fore. The politicians are understandably aghast this morning – I just hope and pray that dear God in heaven will be kind to those who fought for a righteous cause . . . Celi – each and every one of us lives on the one and only planet there is – we all have the right but also the obligation to be open with our thoughts . . . . . . and thank you for sending news of all those on four legs around the farmy: we have missed that so much . . . blessings . . .

  14. Thank you for this wonderful post !! It pulled me out of my non-posting status. All good blessings to you and your family.

  15. You are doing a work of loving kindness: feeding your neighbours, and not with any old rubbish, but with powerful, nutritious food. To paraphrase:
    Give a man a loaf and you feed him for a day. Teach him to make bread and you feed him for a lifetime. You are putting skill and knowledge into hands that need it. Bravo.

  16. Good for you Celi. Bread is the staff of life, it represents goodness.
    I haven’t seen a post from you for many weeks. Maybe you stopped for a while. Maybe my notifications stopped.

  17. We all need to do so much work to end the disparity. A sobering statistic for prison populations may surprise many Australians…it shouldn’t!
    African Americans make up 12% of the adult population, but 33% of the US prison population; in Australia, the ratio for Indigenous people is 3% of the population and 29% of the prisoners.

  18. Oh Cecilia what a thoughtful and useful idea—bread-making kits. How and when do I sign on/up?

  19. I am listening, and the bread box idea is genius ! Thank you for your well written words.

  20. Your comments and your work are organic — no other way to put it. Thank you for your much needed words and deeds.

  21. Considering that we each share 99% of our DNA it is ridiculous to consider another person as “different” for all of 1% of their genetic material, which means there is no genetic basis for race. We are all humans, homo sapiens, and what we do to one we do to all. There was a loud but peaceful protest march right in front of our building yesterday late in the afternoon. The crowd was a mixture of skin colors (which is controlled by over 30 different genes), walking together, united in a cause. I would love to see this fixation on the outside of our bodies stop and have race disappear forever. There are only people, good and bad, kind and cruel, large and small, and on and on, just human beings. If we all would simply care about each person, not get caught up in difference and concentrate on sameness the world would be a better place.

  22. So good to hear your voice not ignoring the cries, there has been a spill over into Australia imo a good thing… it helps much with the feelings of helplessness to hear likeminded voices and know that Mary or Martha our support matters and is welcome.

  23. Thanks Cecelia. Your post just spoke to me, a black girl. Would you want to connect with me?

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