Honor the seed. The words seem so simple. This is knowledge that was passed down to me from my father. Yet, today, those simple words — and sentiments — are so forgotten.
My father, a big, raw–boned man with giant, calloused hands big as catchers’ mitts and shoulders broad enough to carry my sister and me as kids around the yard for an hour without tiring, grew up on a farm in Mississippi. Despite moving to the city and working behind a desk in his adult years after World War II, he still had a lot of ‘country’ in him. Some of it was, well, rather rude — others of it, wise. As deep and fertile as the soil, as lasting as the seasons.
It was my father who taught me how to ‘taste’ soil to see if it ‘was any good.’ If the soil tasted flat, it needed fertilizer; metallic, it needed more organic matter; if it tasted tart, it needed lime. His method was intuitive and, I guess, a matter of taste. Literally. […]
The admonition to care for society to the 7th generation includes the careful harvesting of seeds from the crops and the planting of the best of them in the following growing season. It is a way of life that ensures the health and continuity of society. It is a nourishing way of life for all the people, not just a few, and not only those living, but a mindful setting aside of health and well–being for future generations, as well.
The seed is more than an agricultural product. It is at once a symbol of hope, of a new generation, and a predictor of the future. If we are not careful with the seeds we plant, and conscious of what we are doing, we will reap a certain harvest based on what we have planted. Feast? Famine? Future? Or end? Those are the seeds we are planting today with our modern industrial society.
We cannot go back to a society where small farmers lived in isolated villages in rural settings that lasted essentially the same for generations. But we can learn from our ancestors in this New Age we live in and choose the type of future we want for ourselves, our children and our children’s children to seven generations. That’s the responsibility we have to follow some simple, time–honored advice: Honor the seed.
-- Jim Ewing
SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does caring for society to the 7th generation mean to you? Can you share a personal story of honoring the seed? How do we improve awareness about the seeds we are planting?