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“To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds, and watch their renewal of life — this is the commonest delight of the race, the most satisfactory thing a man can do” (Charles Dudley Warner).
THERE IS AN ELEMENTAL, AGE-OLD JOY THAT COMES TO US IN THE ACT OF PLANTING. No matter how urbanized our culture becomes, it’s not likely we’ll ever outgrow the pleasures that were a part of our ancestors’ agricultural way of life. Getting our hands into the soil, planting seeds, watering them, and nurturing the greenery as it begins to grow, these are joys that have a rich heritage in our hearts. Planting is almost pure happiness, and we need to do more of it.
Planting is an act of faith and trust if ever there was one. No one would ever plant anything if he or she weren’t willing to take a risk. Planting is based on the confidence that there are things we can do today that will make a difference for good tomorrow, and anytime we plant a seed, we make a statement about the future: we may not know many things about it, but we’ve chosen to point ourselves in that direction, and we believe the future’s worth making an investment in.
By far the best planting we ever do, however, is not agricultural but personal. When we make new beginnings with other people, either by entering into new relationships or doing things that reinvigorate old ones, we are “planting” in the very highest sense. And we should enjoy this to the extent that it becomes an observable part of our character and conduct. We should want to be people who’re known to do a lot more planting than we do uprooting.
The exciting thing is that it’s never too late to do some planting. We may have done little of it in the past. We may even have blighted things that were planted by someone else. But the more life has gone badly for us in the past, the more it’s “planting time” right now.
The results that can come from planting good things in our relationships with others are truly amazing. A bountiful harvest can come from even modest plantings, if the seeds are sown in love. The soil doesn’t even have to appear particularly promising. We just have to believe that the timeless laws of growth have not yet been repealed.
“Plant a word of love heart-deep in a person’s life. Nurture it with a smile and a prayer, and watch what happens” (Max Lucado).