“Plant your own garden instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
A tiny chalkboard carried a message which stopped me in my tracks. “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.” It wasn’t the quote that caused me pause, but the genius to whom it is credited: Socrates.
How the world would shock Socrates now, as we fill schedules to the gills with things that keep even the very youngest among us busy to the point of great exhaustion.
Freedom to explore
I have often thought how much better our existence would be if everyone had more freedom to explore the woods and the rivers and the dirt that feeds us and less of the scheduled minutes that drives straight to stress.
Civility has died in the race to fill the faster pace. It fell by the wayside as people clamor to have it all, to be all.
I read a piece on mindfulness, written by Christy Ann Martine which shares this wisdom. “When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take.”
This, in large part, is one of the many things that makes the great case for doing all we can to save the family farms across our great nation. Farms build good communities by raising great families. Busy families, yes, but connected to what matters in a deeper way than classes and a highly scheduled life can teach.
I know what a lucky soul I am, to have been raised by a farm, educated on the earth, underneath a giving sky. My dad would stop what he was doing to point out the glory of a sunrise, or to save a nest of baby bunnies, to intentionally let wild berries grow. Wildlife amazed him, and he shared his wonder with us as he watched the awakening of morning, the unfolding of each season.
While pointing out the simple gifts of a single tree, we learned a grove of trees was even better. Some of those weathered trees had stood since the days when native Americans worked that same land which gave us so much.
It was a gift to grow right along with the rhythms of Mother Nature, with the chaos of the world far away from our lovely land for that moment in time. None of it is ours forever, another great lesson imparted along the way.
Enjoy the open horizon, sunrise to sunset, and plant a flower or two while you can.
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