It started with a photo.
Actually, painting. Lindsay got some cute little ceramics for us to paint with the kids. Foxes and pumpkins. We sat around the table and painted them with old smelly acrylic paint. I opted for a “realistic” representation of a pumpkin. The ceramics were also pots for succulents, and Lindsay promptly planted some and placed them with the rest of her collection of little cacti. A few days later, I stood in the kitchen one morning daydreaming while doing the dishes and I couldn’t stop looking at that little ceramic pumpkin through the window into the sunroom. I went and took a photo of it, thoughts swirling around me like the Florida heat.
There are times when I am hyper-aware that I have lost touch with some version of reality. I feel it most when I am reminded of harvest. While I never worked a farm, parts of my family did when I was younger, and still do. I grew up with my cousins who lived on a farm. I have some memories of dinner-table talk of getting ready for harvest. To this day, I am not sure exactly what the crop was; there was a horse and some pigs and corn.
There is a natural rhythm and flow of the Earth as it makes its revolutions that is observed by the farmer. Farmers have rituals tied to the earth. Grounded not just because they till the ground but grounded in the sense of being connected to all living things and the revolution of the life cycle: Sow, Birth, Life, Harvest, and Death. It is increasingly difficult to find routines that help me feel connected to this planet we find ourselves on, let alone, understanding this and seeing myself as part of the universe. There is a kind of harmony to it all that I struggle seeing these days.
Why “harvest” and not sow? Or some other phase of the cycle? Another purpose of this newsletter is to allow me to collect something. Perhaps to retrieve a piece of me that I feel might’ve been lost along the way. Buried deep under the burdens of mortgages, car payments, Sprints (yuck to Agile Project management 🤢), Zoom meetings, and other things that do their best to keep us from feeling the dirt beneath our feet.
Tend the soil.
I think fertile soil is the birthplace of such connectivity. It forms the basis and building blocks of what we need to live, to truly live. Will you go on this journey with me? The idea here is to take a moment (not too often, perhaps monthly at first) to consider the soil that you walk on and the soil of your soul. What could you be doing to fertilize it? Or even better, if you have done a good job, pause and reflect on the goodness you are experiencing. Simple reflections for you to tend the soil of your soul.
“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” ― Mohandas K. Gandhi
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