Harvest: Bearing and Sharing

I learned many things from my grandparents in and around and about our family garden. One of those lessons was that we always planted enough for our family AND enough more to share with others.  I helped my grandparents and parents gather up the yield of the garden so that, without question, we could store and can and freeze what we all needed for the coming year.  Then, I saw them gather up more and put them in baskets and talk about who to take them to.  Friends and neighbors certainly received, but there was always concern for those who were sick or hit hard with financial troubles.  The lesson I learned was that harvest was always bigger than we needed because we always planned on making a harvest big enough to share.

The lesson becomes a metaphor for me as my suburban yard doesn’t sport a garden large enough to make that kind of harvest.  I do try and plan a harvest of the heart, however, that can be big enough for me and mine and others, too.  The single largest lesson I’ve learned as a teacher is that I never know what students bring into the room with them each day, but that they always do bring so many things into the room.  Once,  in the midst of a casual conversation, a student revealed that his father had died just a few months previously and that what had taken his father’s life had just been determined to be a genetic disease that he himself had inherited.  This young man walks into my room with that, every day.

I want to cultivate a heart in me big enough to hold space for that student,and for the others who come in with stories yet untold.  Harvest calls us to that kind of planning and planting, if we want to hear it.  What are you planning and planting today?  Are your plans big enough?  Are they big enough to share with those who need some of what you will harvest?

Bob Patrick

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