My Search For Enlightenment in these Forsaken Times

God materializes in the form of a hydroponic farm

I woke up on this most brisk Sunday, to the aroma of fresh morning dew. I was cold. I noticed my comforter had escaped bedside. And I was depressed with fresh memories of our world being forgotten. I couldn’t muster the impetus to fetch my source of warmth. So I curled into the fetal position, and focused my mind. I focused on the smell of the dew. It was the sole trace of cheer in my purgatory-like state of discomfortibility but comfortability enough to remain in place.

Understand that once, when I was young, when separating two scuffling boys, my nose was caught with a stray fist. A right hook! Ever since, my left nostril has been small, and my right one large. For a long time this asymmetry irritated my to no end.

But on this most recent sabbath, I appreciated my demented nasal more than anything. Because, through my special elephanted nostril — in wafted a myriad of pleasant thoughts and imagery. I dreamed of bumblebees and flowers, and the lovely hydrated appearance of grass in the morning. And I dreamed of the sun rising, its warmth cleansing the droplets from the greens and blues and yellows of gardens. And I felt a warmth rushing up inside of me.

It was so profound, the sudden and engulfing nature of this warmth, that I opened my eyes. And Lord, was I angry. Lord, I was angry… when, through the chapel window beside my bed, and through the glare of the morning sun, I glimpsed that God-forsaken dome encasing the chapel. I had forgotten about it amid these recent events.

Normally I would pray… But under our solitary circumstances, I imagined kneeling would bring only rug burns. So I grimaced. Then caught my eye did my heavy lamp made from a softball-sized piece of the sun. I grab a hold of this dense shiner of light, and I have brilliant idea. I would hurl it with all my might at the dome; the dome would crack, and I would escape!

But on my way to the window, I was made off-balance by the weight. I tripped over my discarded pocket bible, which had been acting as a crutch for the short leg of my nightstand.

I broke through the chapel’s 100 year old boards like a cannonball through glass. Smash, through the second floor. Smash, through the first. Boom! With the force of a thousand tons, I made a crater in the thick basement slab.

As the dust settled, I massaged my temples into allowing my eyes to open. And what did I see, when my eyes opened? I saw what for me would forever change my outlook on this dome, this chapel, and this Ellis Island-like township in The Kingdom of God.

I was not dreaming this time, when I laid eyes upon lush blacklit greens, some flowering and others growing fruits and vegetables — all floating freely on synthetic lily pads in vertically-stacked tubs of mineral water. I tell you, there were thick, dark green, perfectly healthy cabbages. There were tomatoes as plump and shiny as can be. There were potatoes. And spices of all kinds! Name a pillar of nutrition…

Two figures emerged from the back of the room. One strode my way, saying without any hesitance, “hey”, and introducing herself as Dana Lucas. The other congregated with Dana and I only after reconfiguring some plants and adjusting the automated watering spout accordingly. His name was Evan Chakrin.

These two convinced me, in my disoriented and soul-searching state, that God had not abandoned us. He simply retreated to his closet, and has since returned in new clothing. His new dress is called hydroponic farming. And the reason for the dome was not to encapsulate me; truly, it was to protect and enable these beautiful, nutritious plants and fruits!

I was captured here for a good and holy reason — that is, to act as God’s aid, alongside Dana and Evan, planting seeds, nourishing them into fruition, and using them for the nourishment of the UMass student body and possibly a wider community. Because what is more beautiful and holy than planting a simple seed, and watching it transform by God’s law alone into a beautiful, beautiful orange carrot!

To support UMass HydroFarm, visit UMASSHYDRO

For more articles by Reverend Garland Hobbes, click here. To get in touch with this writer, email


See Also

Want to read more news? Click here for a random article.