Visiting Marienhof Farm
Marienhof is a Bio-Dynamic Organic Farm (Bauer) located in the mountains of West Germany outside of Wuppertal. It is a Demeter Farm which is a well known Biological brand known throughout Europe for its practices established by Rudolph Steiner. At this particular farm, the staff consists predominantly of handicapped people where housing and jobs on the farm are provided. Marienhof also provides food for handicap housing and schools located in Wuppertal, as well as trading/exchanging with surrounding farms.
I sit here now in the Garden shed listening to the rain of a storm that has blown in. It’s beautiful here in the summer. A different kind of beautiful from the winter. Everything is growing. Calendula and Sunflowers paint the deep green fields with bright oranges, yellows and dark reds and browns.
There is a man here. About 50 going on 90, or maybe 90 going on 10. I can’t tell his age nor does this matter. He can barely walk with his cane holding him as upright as he can be at this point. He can barely walk…but this doesn’t stop him from his daily ritual of walking the grounds of the farm. Same route every day. He puts one foot slowly in front of the other as if the entire experience is a deep meditation. Maybe it is. Maybe it’s why he never misses it. No matter what the weather.
I remember seeing him this winter in the bitter cold all bundled up taking the same daily walk, I see him taking today, months later, in the cool of a storm blowing in on a warm summer day. This indeed is what I call a Beautiful Struggle – what seems to be a struggle in appearance as I watch him move sluggishly holding his cane with every bit of strength he musters with each step forward, is actually quite beautiful as I see in the heart of this ageless man lives the youth of a boy that is untouched by the bodily tolls of his ederly state. As a result, removes any significance of a struggle whatsoever, except for the beauty of overcoming it.