March 11, 2021
The Light Of Ancient Wisdom
I grew up in farm country. Pullman, Washington, is a small university town surrounded by the rolling Palouse hills and fields of wheat and barley. My dad was a plant breeder at the university and we spent many post-harvest afternoons with farm families, the dads talking crops and yields while we kids played in the grain silos. Farm journals arrived at our house regularly and Dad was featured in many of them. But there was never a story like this one in any of them. It would have been inconceivable.
This article appeared in the Irish AgriLand farming news publication last fall, with a headline that pulls no punches. A farmer and his magical field: How fairies have ‘kept the land sacred in Ireland’ It is the story of a Galway farmer, Noone, who has farmed his land for forty years. It is the story of his connection to, as writer notes, what some may believe to just be mythology and his claim of being a faery whisperer. Rather than paraphrase, I will just offer a few excerpts.
“I farm a mixed farm here – I have sucklers, sheep and horses…I also have a fairy field,” Noone tells AgriLand. “A lot of people come here to see the fairies in this field and they get great experiences here. I have the porthole to the fairy world, where the blackthorn meets the whitethorn.” Noone says that people come to the area and get great experiences of peace, joy, healings and some “find emotions here”.
Noone feels that he gets great inspiration when he goes to the field. “I go in here [wondering] about when to sell livestock and that’s only the farming end of it. Just to know when to sell and be ahead and thank God this year I obeyed them [fairies] – I’m well ahead before the lockdown. Of course I believe in it – it has helped me in farming a lot.”
“If you respect the fairies they will respect you.” Noone says it is all about mutual respect – that if people respect the fairies, the fairies will respect them. “Treat the fairies as you would like to be treated yourself – not skitted at, not laughed at, but just left alone and nurtured.”
“The people who don’t believe is a great thing…because that means that I’m doing something right. A great friend of mine who lives up the road, he came into this field and he was a skeptic and he came out of this field a full believer. He had an experience.”
According to Noone, the fairies are a part of that “great tradition of a culture of land and they kept the land sacred” in Ireland. “They were the real things that kept the land sacred in Ireland,” he says. “The covenant of Ireland is the land of Ireland. That black soil that we’re standing on here, that’s what gives us life and that’s where we came from and that’s where we’re going back to.”
A few years ago shortly before Dad died I was back in Pullman and had occasion to spend time with three brothers – brothers I used to play with in the silos and who have been farming that same family farm for almost fifty years. During one conversation I acknowledged and expressed my appreciation for their deep and long connection to the land. I likely said something about the spirit of the place. They looked at me like I was crazy. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t mention the faeries and other realm energies.
AgriLand and Wheat Life. Wheat Life is Washington’s premiere magazine for wheat and barley producers and they did an amazing piece on Dad when he died. These two journals are not just worlds apart, they are other realms apart. No, AgriLand is definitely not my father’s farm journal. However recent communications from Dad, from those other realms of his Irish ancestry, suggest that he might have wished it was.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Shannon for sending me this AgriLand story!