By Jackie Eshelman at White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia for the CREATE course
I sit in the dark, creaking in a weathered rocking chair perched on the rickety front porch of an old home on a sleepy street in the deep south. The air is crisp, and my mind is swirling with possibility as I watch awestruck by beauty as the shadow of the Earth eclipses the face of the full moon. I contemplate the contrast of the perception of a person’s size and importance while the planet on which I sit passes between two heavenly bodies that dictate so much of the ebb and flow of life on this planet. I reflect on how I got here and feel gratitude for the support of our community. It is through the influence of others that we aspire to the greatness of our potential.
My time at White Oak Pastures has been brief, and sadly, today it comes to an end. This experience is an incredible beginning to the next chapter in my life. So much has happened in such a short time. I feel so honored to be part of this incredible cohort of folks from across North America, it is always so inspiring to know that others out there are driven to do good in the world. We are all tired after travel and then five days of intensive learning, and this is only the beginning of our course. For the next 16 weeks, we will be taking a deep dive into soil heath, and learning, to coach land stewards into waking up our sleepy soils, subtly coaxing them back into vitality and regeneration.
I am always so inspired by the diverse community that makes up regenerative agriculture, and this week I have had access to some of the greats. From my cohort of twenty amazing minds, to Nicole Masters and Will Harris, to Didi Pershouse and Meagan Lannan, I am surrounded by greatness and feel proud to be in this mix. This course has taken us through the micro-technical to the deeply personal, and back again. There has been incredible learning, lots of laughter, and a fair share of tears as we venture together into the work of knowing yourself so that you can be most effective, happy, and healthy in the deep work of rehabilitating our mindsets, and our soilscapes. I have learned so much already, and this is just the beginning of the journey.
I want to acknowledge all of you for your contributions to this work. Each person gave what they could, and even if it was just a word of encouragement along the way, please know that I bring you with me on this journey, and I am grateful for your support. I feel incredible hope and potential from this perspective as I am certainly standing on the shoulders of giants. I thank you all.