Tuesday, July 21, 2009

DIRT+SEEDS= HARVEST UNTOLD


I love driving through unfamiliar territory.
There are always lots of interesting things to see, and on the radio, to hear. Recently I heard a particularly thought-provoking comentary.
The DJ was recounting the joys her garden was producing;
crisp and stalk-y broccoli,
an abundant crop, of strangely beautiful, asymmetrical steak-y tomatoes,
a plethora of peas enveloped in pods, bearing curling tendrils reminiscent of Jack's Beanstalk. And she was taking great care in sharing the bounty with her "people" and especially the youngest of her "people",
teaching them how to harvest,
their arms overflowing cornucopias.

Together then, they reverently place them in baskets and bags,
marveling at what delicious, and varied fruits and vegetables God can create,
as she put it,
from Dirt, alone.

What comes to mind for me at that moment, as I drive serenely along, with that Norman Rockwell-like image in mind, is the first day of the Lenten Season, Ash Wednesday; When the priest makes the sign of the cross on foreheads, dipping his thumb into the ashes of once smoldering palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday celebration, and proclaiming, as he marks you, "Remember, O man, that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.''
I am thinking that

We, too, begin as the lowly dirt,
and we too, have the potential to produce many and varied fruits,
from seeds left along the way;
Some intentionally placed, some left by the wondrous hand of nature herself,
some unexpectedly offered by trees and plants that could hold their aging fruits no longer,
releasing them gently to the ground
allowing them to do what nature allows;
a period of dormancy
a time for fertlization
and then rebirth.

Fruits, that began as We;
un-fertilized seeds,
yet when given the right conditions;
the warmth,
and the nutrients,
to sustain our yet fragile forms,
slowly, we sprout,
hinting at the impending flower,
which foretells the color and essence of the fruit yet to be.

Like an enormous orange flower
that has the potential to become an enormous seed-laden pumpkin,
ready, when the time is right
to become the Jack O'Lantern that it has the potential yet to be--
To house the light which will illuminate,
both its inner and outer form,
lighting both itself and the path
for young hopefuls unsure of what's in store.

Over a season,
in the time in takes to transform an immense and fortelling blossom,
to a meaty, seed-bearing fruit,
We grow and change,
gaining what we need, to continue a measured process of growth,
and just as young fruits only slightly resemble the ripened product,
we need time to grow and to develop,
into what we were meant to become.
And as we ripen, we become, more ready,
to give what our fully developed form is intended to give:
both the fruit, and the seeds,
for although we may harvest and distribute both the fruit and the seed,
we are dually recipients of the fruits and seeds of more mature fruits,
which ferment within us in a perfect and self perpetuating harvest,
which is both annual and perennial,
in its own unique way.

And as we develop,
our potential to provide develops,
and when We are ready
we provide,
and then return for more nourishment
remembering that we were nourished ourselves.
And in order to receive
we must nourish,
and in order to nourish,
we must receive.

And there will always be resources enough,
for in our own search for sustenance,
we inevitably grow,
and the more fruit we bear the more seeds we can provide,
reseeding along our way,
often in unfamiliar territory,
in the dust that came before us
the dust we shall return to.