This song is referenced by Song 115 – Enough. The image for Psalm 12 and for Psalm 13 are of the garden in back of Grandma Nelson’s house (see image for Psalm 96). This garden was an important part of Grandma Nelson’s life. I remember how Grandma was typically working in her kitchen, in the garden, or working in the sheds at the back of the garden, where she had a lot of little chicks which she fed every day and grew into chickens to eat. Did you know chickens do not have teeth, they have a gizzard? Grandma took me out to some of the large ant beds around the corrals, and we would collect the little sorted rocks in a bucket. We would carry these to the shed where the chickens were, and then put the rocks in the shed for the chickens to eat. The rocks would stay in the chicken’s gizzard, where the rocks would grind up the grain and other food Grandma gave them. This garden is where Andrea and I have had a garden for the last 3 years. Aunt Shirley (Dad’s youngest sister) and Uncle Willis Gurr (see image for Psalm 151 – David’s Song for Saul) live in this house now. They use a small part of the garden space for their own garden, and we use a larger portion in the “worst” (most rocky) part of the garden. We share the garden with Steve and Xochi Engst, which means this year I typically water the garden Monday and Friday, Andrea waters on Wednesday, and Xochi or her son Manuel water Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The nail shed (right side of image for Psalm 126) is all that is left of the sheds which used to be behind the garden. The words to this song are words of a poem Grandma Nelson wrote about her farm. “My farm to me is not just land, Where bare, unpainted buildings stand, To me my farm is nothing less, Than all created loveliness.” When I think about her kitchen, her garden, and her chickens, I can hear her voice saying “My farm is not where I must soil, My hands in endless, dreary toil, But where through seed and swelling pod, I’ve learned to walk and talk with God.” I remember when “Big Roice” (my cousin Roice Nelson Krueger) and I stole some lime jello from Grandma. She asked us if we had seen any lime jello. We said, “No!” Then she had us look at each other and stick out our tongues. I was so dumb, “Big Roice” had to take me aside and tell me we had been caught. We are always caught when we steal or lie. If an authority figure does not recognize what happened and correct us, it is written in our body and shows up in other choices we make. Do not lie or cheat! Nothing justifies doing this. You learn this on a farm. As Grandma says in verse 3 of her poem “My farm to me is not a place, outmoded by a modern race, I like to think I just see less, of evil, greed, and selfishness.” What about social life on a farm. The poem addresses this too: “My farm’s not lonely, for all day, I hear my children shout and play (see image to Psalm 101), And here, when age comes, free from fears, I’ll live again, long joyous years.” Grandma lived until 1965, when she was 76, and which was 18 years after Grandma Nelson died. “My farm’s a heaven – here dwells rest, Security and happiness, Whate’er befalls the world outside, Here faith and hope and love abide.” How many of us can say we have found happiness? Grandma wrote she had found happiness. In summary, “And so my farm is not just land, Where bare, unpainted buildings stand, To me my farm is nothing less, Than all God’s hoarded loveliness.” Isn’t it fitting to put these wonderful words to Leonard Cohen’s wonderful tune for “Hallelujah” (see Song 374 – Hallelujah)?
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