In the English rain we all pack up and prepare ourselves as if for some modern day battle against transportation, for the 3 15 am sojourn to London. This countryside has treated us well, despite our plucking hands in fields of golden wheat- fingers reaping an ear to hear, a berry to taste a future loaf of bread. Our clothes go in our bags the same stuffed way as they were in Skowhegan and then unpacked here, our shoes lace up the same way, but I think all our understandings leaved changed thanks to this classroom of ORC and even larger, Hamstead Marshall’s walking paths, Newbury, Oxford, this place.
I have been thinking about ripples lately. Really, geography is ripples. We are born one place, we study in another yet still return home, we find new homes, our spherical space grows bigger and bigger. Love is ripples vibrating up our spines till we are filled with a circle of compassion for those all around. Learning is ripples. We began here, isolated stones of students from 3 different countries (4! Caro!), introducing the hand we were thrown from and those seeds that hand has sown. Together, however, we have rippled through topics with specific to all encompassing names such as “Wheat, Trade, Productivity and Food Security” or “Organic Arable Systems”. In our notebooks we have drawn circles connecting it all, ven diagrams or doodles circling around our brains, these circles emulate the holistic view of thinking we leave this country with.
I will miss singing in 4 part harmony in the bus, stealing carrots from the raised beds outside the classroom, attempting to do a head stand (I did today! Finally! Stayed up for 3 seconds!). But we must keep dropping stones into water to understand the crossings of different ripples. Let the only “new frontier” we try to conquer be one of knowledge, to never stop exploring. From the stooks of yesterday, into the taste buds of tomorrow! I look forward to the next two weeks in Germany.