Woman and child gazing across Hawthorne Valley Farm landscape to cows in the distance

photograph by lawrence braun

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry ~
from New Collected Poems (Counterpoint, 2012) Copyright (c) 2012 by Wendell Berry


Dear Friends,

It would be easy to be carried away on a river of despair right now. The world seems upside down. There are so many unknowns – how long will this pandemic last, will I get sick, will my family members become ill, and what of our financial peril? These are questions we’re all facing, and there is comfort in knowing we are in this together. We will get through it together – and we’ll be forever changed. We’ll be more resilient and more aware of our global interconnectedness; and more conscious of what we’re capable of accomplishing together when faced with existential crises.

For now, though, there are the things we know for sure here at Hawthorne Valley: the farmers are planning and planting seeds in the greenhouses for the coming growing season; the cows are being milked twice a day, every day; in the forests, the Silver Maples are blossoming offering the honey bees some of their first nourishment as the days begin to lengthen and warm. If we look, we can find reassurances that life hums along. And in that we can find peace. Nature is here for us to delight and take comfort in.

Across Hawthorne Valley we continue to find ways to meet the changing demands of this time. We extend gratitude to our colleagues, who have demonstrated flexibility and extraordinary teamwork as we’ve worked to support all those who rely on our programming.

The Farm Store has experienced unprecedented demand, and the staff have pushed themselves to keep the shelves stocked and the community well-fed; at Hawthorne Valley School, our nurse has worked tirelessly to keep parents informed of the latest information on the virus, and the teachers and administrative team are working closely together to create entirely new and creative ways to teach and support their students remotely; even in the face of mounting concerns as the outbreak grows, our greenmarket team continues to bring fresh and healthy food to New York City.

While we are aware that things are evolving nearly hourly, Hawthorne Valley pledges to continue to be flexible and supportive in order to do what’s best for our community. You can find more detailed updates to HVA programming below, and we will keep in touch with further updates as they become available.

In this time of crisis, we find comfort in one another. We celebrate and thank our colleagues, and count the blessings of community.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay resilient.
With love and gratitude,

Martin Ping
Executive Director
Hawthorne Valley Association