What is my purpose within the natural world?
Many years ago, I realized that I could not truly know my purpose as a human being within the natural world, until I committed myself to a homeplace in the country. So, I chose to put down roots on a modest 10-acre farmstead in Virginia.
For decades, I established and organically managed orchards, gardens, and wild spaces on this small farm. I enriched the soil microbiology and worked on adding wildlife habitat. I spent each day actively providing for biological abundance.
I am proud that the increase in biological abundance over the years has been remarkable, partly because I encouraged the natural web-of-life on these ten acres.
When I purchased this land, it was a simple pasture - only grass and a few shade trees. And now, there are thousands of trees, hundreds of plant varieties, and many animal species.
An important reason there is a rich variety and abundance of new life on this farm is because I committed myself to the ecological health of this piece of earth.
I chose over the years to work with the land as a living organism, and not just use it for profit. As a small farmer and apple orchardist my goal was to be a good steward of the land for the next generation.
I suppose in the end, I do know what my purpose is in the natural world. It is to be here now, committed to a cherished piece of earth, and to nurture the life that surrounds me for as long as I can.