Alan Chadwick was a wonderful and interesting man. A dear friend of mine, in his 90s, brought him to America. Alan was inspired by Kennedy, Shakespeare and Rudolf Steiner (his tutor in gardening as a child – his mother flew Steiner in). My teacher counseled him in tough times.
In the midst of the true horror of the Second World War, first he was a pacifist, then his mind matured and he had to act. He became a captain of a minesweeper in the North Sea/ La Manche.
As a captain of a minesweeper vessel your task is to root out the most insidious creatures of our mistrust. It destroyed his nerves and he developed a neurological condition in reaction to the slightest noise. But, despite the constant companion of such pain, his love for nature shone through.
While Santa Cruz University biology department created Agent Orange to reign down terror on Vietnam and Cambodia, he built a biodynamic organic garden full of happy birds, thriving fruit and vegetables, and plants on a deserted hill. On the backs of such men man expands; and nature too.
I have volunteered on at least one of the farms that he initiated. With great reverence. To hear the barn owl in the belfry of a barn in one such farm, it is to know the substance of ones soul.
He said: (paraphrasing)
“To be a gardener you must water every plant in the garden every day as it needs.”
To attend to the needs of a plant or an animal or a human or the planet, such an order of love, well, it is ultimately, from a deep spring, and it is no small affair – but you cannot see its significance, unless you become the smallest thing.
© Copyright 2021 Nathan Curry