“Perhaps it was the simplicity that made me smile. Or maybe it was the newness—I’d never heard a pre-meal blessing that was so simple. But there it was, we were all sitting around the table at Glencolton Farms saying this blessing before a steaming bowl of carrot and ginger soup topped with all the sour cream we could want. A wheel of freshly made brie and homemade rolls dripping with fresh butter and glasses full of fresh, creamy milk completed the meal. “Wow,” I thought. “Does food really get any better than this? Certainly this prayer works. We have in front of us all the goodness and abundance one could want in their food!”
Here I was, eating a meal that was produced mainly on this farm. The butter, sour cream and milk, all came from these cows. The cheese was from their milk and made right there. The bread, baked in the bakery downstairs, and the soup—made from their own carrots and chicken stock.
Yet, there was a cloud. It was subtle because everyone in the family, and the staff on the farm, behaves with grace and class, but the cloud was clearly there. The feeling was that of a dark dampness. A cold air that you feel in your bones. Even so, the ambience of the farm beckoned to each of us, encouraging hope, like the spontaneous sunshiny smiles of the children.
There was no walking on eggshells. We all knew what it was. And is. It is the looming court case against Michael, Elisa, their children, the farm—this time encompassing the whole community who is nourished by the Glencolton Farms. It affects us all.
I recognized it. Grief. That ever-present grief as you witness the attempted destruction of something beautiful. I had a faint memory back to the wedding scene in Fiddler on The Roof when armed police demolished the gifts the community gave to the newly married couple and threatened their celebration. The scene, a foreshadowing of the violence they would become victim to.
But there we were, eating this amazing food while the occasional sunbeam escaped the clouds to play on the hillsides, a mirror to the graciousness and generosity of my hosts even through their tension….”