Writer, farmer and modern-day prophet Wendell Berry will visit the college where I teach and live this fall, and I'm trying to remain cool and level-headed. For me, that's a challenge because I marvel at his poetic prose that challenges us to hold our spiritual values at the center of our sense of place.
During his short stay, I fear becoming part of an agrarian paparazzi, planning my jogging routes around his campus tour or visit to an Appalachian Studies class. While I plant my fall garden, I visualize him strolling past my on-campus duplex when I'm harvesting kale with my two daughters.
Yes, this hero worship is amusing on some level, if you consider that I'm a 45-year-old mother, writer and academic. But I believe that we need to feel reverence for those voices calling us to put our religious values to work in local communities to sustain God's earth. And I believe that because I am a mother, teacher and a person of faith.
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