To be a saint: market day @ Melleray Farmstead

to be a saintIf you’d like to know how to be a saint, don’t necessarily follow me, but do read on.

The first market day — Sunday 8 June — for the Garden Project at Melleray Farmstead netted about $180. Garlic, potatoes, shallots and sugar peas were going like sourdough pancakes at a gold miners’ camp.

The Garden Project at Mellerary Farmstead is a collaboration between us and St. Julia’s Church. For them, it’s a fundraising effort for the youth group. For us, it’s the hospitality and outreach of a small farmstead and business (Piedmont Pine Coffins) that claims part of its inspiration from monks and monasteries. Through the ages, monasteries have been, yes, places of solitude, but it’s almost always an “engaged solitude” with lines of linkage running out into the world through economic, political, and spiritual commerce.

All that is necessary to be a saint is to want to be oneto be a saint

At Piedmont Pine Coffins and its home base Melleray Farmstead, we’re not a monastery, we’re a small family. But the bold words above, attributed by monk and writer Thomas Merton to his contemplative friend Robert Lax, are a guiding aspiration.

It’s hard to be either a monk or a contemplative when you have two small kids running around you on the farmstead, but then again, in truth, it’s hard to be contemplative even in a monastery. There are distractions everywhere, and the internal kind are the worst.

So, only want to be a saint, and trust it will become, says Lax. Here, we garden.