Does working in nature teach you to marvel?

we met up with Étienne Spick, a farmer in the Pays d'Ouche region of Normandy. We asked him: does working in nature teach you to marvel?

For the Chemin d’éternité feature, we met up with Étienne Spick and his sister Marie, respectively a farmer and a cattle breeder in the Pays d’Ouche region of Normandy. We asked them: does working in nature teach you to marvel?
Etienne Spick.

The road winds through forests, up hills and down small valleys, drowned in the early-spring flooding. Around a bend, the little church of Bocquencé, with its porch covered in chestnut laths, comes into view. The meadows are grazed by Normande cows, a breed renowned for both its milk and meat. Not far away, a house with flint and half-timbered walls faces a vast stable where milking is about to start, under Marie’s direction.

Étienne, 57, greets us into his monastic living-room. He has been farming for over thirty years on the family farm. “I was about three or four when I felt I was called to this life, he confides. Later, my choice was thoughtfull considered and matured.” He grows cereals and his sister produces milk for Normandy’s famous cheeses.

Working in nature teaches you to wonder

With his blue eyes, he gazes at the lilac blossom on his doorstep and, further away, at the hills and fields he knows in minute detail. “As soon as I go to work, I’m in the Creation, in a natural sanctuary. I realize more and more that participating in the Creation and bringing it to fruition is a true vocation.”

Read more of this story in the issue of Chemin d’éternité devoted to: “Can we still marvel?”

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