It is late March and my garden beds are beginning to come to life. There is a certain calm on the outside but beneath the still dirt is a flurry of activity. Some of our greatest, though humble, creatures are busy tunneling and tilling the earth, creating a nourishing rich soil worthy of the Better Boy tomatoes that will soon take root.
With the help of fat juicy earthworms and my dedicated attention to turning leaves, grass clippings and banana peels into sweet compost I will soon prepare theses sleepy beds for a bounty of summer tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, lettuce, snap beans and a variety of fresh herbs. I have learned over the years that my garden beds need my constant attention and help. If left to their on device, the soil in these beds will revolt and revert back to the hard, compacted dirt that they began life as, dirt that is more suitable for weeds than the picky leaf lettuce I will plant that demands my love if I plan to eat a fresh summer salad.
Like my garden beds, the soil of our souls also needs our persistent and devoted attention to keep them supple and moist for seeds to be planted. It is easy to let our lives become harden and compacted with what the world throws at us. We fall into the furrow of taking care of ourselves first, focusing on our own problems not realizing that there are others among us searching for the same nutrients of love, compassion, acceptance and peace.
We are all sowers of seeds. Will you sow with the needs of others in mind or with selflessness, pride and ego? Is your soil prepared for acceptance or hardened for self?
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change” – Thich Nhat Hanh