Reader comment on Jim Ewing's passage ...

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    On Sep 3, 2013 Ricky wrote:

    There is nothing like holding the arugula seeds from a late summer pod saved from the best tasting plant you have ever raised.  The cruciferous (cross-shaped) white flowers had been visited and pollinated by the most varied array of butterflies, parasitic wasps, honey-mason-carpenter-bumble-bees, and hover flies, ensuring a bumper crop of fertilized pods.  Hummingbirds even checked in.  Although the family ate many of the leaves, we left plenty, apparently, for the life processes of the arugula to be resilient in the face of the annual dance of survival.  Visualizing the next generation held within those numerous, tiny, round, dark seeds increases excitement beyond what I can express, and then contemplation arises as to how to hold these over for the optimal planting time early next spring.  My dad always said to wait to plant the garden until the snow was gone from the foothills (I live in the Pacific Northwest), and friends of mine tell me it’s too late to plant then. (Sometimes mid June)  I take measures to ensure each seed and the resulting tiny world that emerges from it is cared for if the weather turns before its maturity.  My dad didn’t know those tricks, such as starting indoors, or covering with plastic outside after transplanting.  He direct seeded, sometimes from held over seeds, sometimes from the local seed company.  I usually do this too.  And then there’s soil preparation, and the feeling of intense responsibility toward the tiny marvels to facilitate enhancing the soil thereby providing the most fertile place on the planet.  The procedures and process seem cold and calculated, yet much of soil prep and seed planting has to do with observation, awareness, love, tenderness, nurture, hard work, diligence, cycles of the moon and weather patterns, magnetic tuning and mineralization, and in the end is finally left up to the ancient wisdom of the seed.  As the round cotyledon leaves press through, they spread out to capture showers and sun, and eventually reveal the true serrated leaves of the arugula.  There is a tangible awe and inspiring sense of coexistence and even collaboration, of reciprocation, of the circle of life, of knowing what is real and honorable.  Vigorous health of this tiny entity, reproduced ten times from within the single fertilized flower and the resulting long narrow pod, demands I too be present every day in the garden; it is my pleasure and my reward at the same time to do so.  This presence continues to allow me to honor the seed, with each successive generation produced and cared for.    
    In answer to the question ‘What does caring for society to the 7th generation mean to you?’ it is the deep commitment to leave this beautiful and brilliant existence in better shape and in a better space than when I arrived.  It may be why I continue to teach. Caring for society to the 7th generation means to think about the unintended consequences of making decisions for short term gain and personal/corporate greed…it means to be aware that we are interwoven, interconnected, and interdependent with each other, nature, and with all sentient beings…and ultimately it means we are responsible for our words and actions for a lot longer and with a much wider net than we could ever imagine.  How quickly we seem to be able to forget what may be unpleasant in terms of outcome or what we may be unwilling to be held accountable for.  Indigenous elders often mention the seventh generation in oral history when discussing next steps, especially in the face of inevitable change.  Caring for society to the 7th generation also demands mindfulness, presence, accountability, and willingness to learn from and listen to what is gut felt and inwardly true.  It takes extraordinary stillness and awareness to care for the society to the 7th generation as we breathe and act from moment to moment, as we ‘see’ with eyes and heart wide open to our potential and possibilities in our own ‘seed’.  The expansive growth and  enhancement of the relationship we have with ourselves, each other, and all other beings around us is ultimately why we are here at this time, and the less footprint on the earth and less damage we impose, even to one another's hearts, the more well-lived the life.    
     


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    On Sep 6, 2013 a wrote:

     Brother Ricky,
    I "thought" I had replied to your above comment last week, but apparently my submission didn't make it to print here?!?  (Entered on my ipad, I must have done something wrong!)
    Very much appreciate your thoughts here!  (read a number of times to further absorb it's meaning and content)  Thank you!  Love to you.
    Restating YOUR words. . . wishing YOU to "'see' with eyes and heart wide open to YOUR potential and the possibilities in your own 'seed'!  Amen, Ricky!

    I have the "Prayer of Jabez" posted above my sink at home:  
    Oh that You would bless me indeed, 
    and enlarge my territory,
    that Your hand would be with me,
    and that You would keep me from evil,
    that I may not cause pain.
    1 Chronicles 4:10

    Grow Ricky . . . in Him


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