Dateline: 11 August 2016 AD
Many years ago (2005) I started a blog titled The Deliberate Agrarian. I wrote about "Faith, Family and Livin' The Good Life." I made a lot of friends there, and I made a lot of good memories. But now, after more than 1,000 blog posts, and several million page views, I have decided to leave The Deliberate Agrarian. I have created this place called Upland. It is here that I will begin anew.
Upland sounds to me like the name of a venerable English country estate (but it's not). Indeed, if I had a venerable country estate—English or otherwise—I would make certain it was on high ground, and I would most certainly name it Upland. I just like the sound of it.
My fondness for Upland comes, in large part, from it's spiritual connotation. And the spiritual connection flows into the subtitle of this blog: "The Journal of One Gardening Pilgrim's Progress."
Having recently immersed myself in John Bunyan's epic, I have had Pilgrim's Progress on my mind a lot lately. I am, after all, a pilgrim on my own journey. I left the City of Destruction years ago. I went through the wicket gate, and took the straight Way. The heavy burden I carried fell away and rolled into the open sepulcher (never to be seen again) when I got to the place of deliverance (the cross of Christ). I was given my scroll of assurance there. One day I will present it at the gate of the Celestial City. And I will be welcomed in.
But, until the Celestial City is reached, there is the journey...
Life is full of choices, and the consequences of those choices. There are disappointments, hardships, failure and sorrow. But there is success and joy and satisfaction too. And always, there is hope. Such things are the experience of every person who lives their life and, amazingly, such things are also the experiences of every person who gardens. Thus it is that gardening is truly a metaphor for life.
Bearing that in mind, as a Christian man, I see the work of gardening as a means of sanctification. Which is to say, gardening can, if we are sensitive to the lessons, teach us much about things like love, humility, patience, faith, the brevity of life, and the hope of life after death. We can be better people when we pursue a life that revolves around the work of gardening. God is, after all, revealed and magnified in His created order—in the garden.... if we have the eyes to see.
So it is that I am a gardening pilgrim. And this blog will, to a large degree, chronicle my progress (or my lack of progress) as a gardener. I will also include subjects related to food (gardening for food is my main gardening interest). And I will, at times, speak to matters of faith, from my Christian perspective. The blog posts will be short and simple (but I reserve the right to occasionally stray from that).
I will no longer write about social, political and economic issues. I will endeavor to avoid current events. Suffice it to say, Western civilization is in decline (probably irreversibly). In light of that reality, one of the few things that makes practical sense is to garden— to better learn how to grow food for our families (and our communities). And to also learn the spiritual lessons that gardening can lead us into. This is, I believe, something profoundly positive in the midst of a very negative civilization.
I invite you to join me here at Upland. I invite you to walk with me.