As I write this our government is shut down and the people of our nation are in deep conflict. At this moment, we are harvesting a mountain of conflict, blame, fear and anger, and as a nation, we have been planting these seeds and cultivating them for a long time. Divided against ourselves, claiming only that our personal principles were important, we have naively thought that we could plant only those seeds that were important to us and that the outcome would eventually make it clear that we were right and that all would be served by our principles.
What we harvest is always directly tied to what we plant. When those who plant lose sight of who and how the harvest will serve, then the planting can become reckless. The reckless sowing of seeds can only lead to a harvest that serves no one well.
How this government shut down will come to resolution remains to be seen, but perhaps we can learn some difficult lessons from it beginning with how we see what we do today, both as individuals and communities. How do our decisions and actions today begin to be a future harvest? Who will that harvest feed? What will the food of that harvest look like? A nourishing harvest really requires thoughtful planting because, finally, everything is connected.
My grandparents knew that. The planting in the spring had to be diverse and well planned so that we could constantly eat, share, and nourish ourselves all year long with a variety of food that kept us healthy. They knew that this planting had to produce a harvest that would reach even through to the next year’s planting. Otherwise, people they cared about would go hungry. Seed planting today: who will this future harvest feed, and how, and for how long?
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