In his book Deep is the Hunger, Howard Thurman tells this story —
I watched him for a long time. He was so busily engaged in his task that he did notice my approach until he heard my voice. Then he raised himself erect with all the slow dignity of a man who had exhausted the cup of haste to the very dregs. He was an old man. . . . Further talk between us revealed that he was planting a small grove of pecan trees. The little treelets were not more than two and a half or three feet in height. My curiosity was unbounded.
“Why did you not select larger trees so as to increase the possibility of your living to see them bear at least one cup of nuts?”
He fixed his eyes directly on my face….Finally he said, “These small trees are cheaper and I have very little money.”
“So you do not expect to live to see the trees reach sufficient maturity to bear fruit?”
“No, but is that important? All my life I have eaten fruit from trees that I did not plant, why should I not plant trees to bear fruit for those who may enjoy them long after I am gone. Besides, the man who plants because he will reap the harvest has no faith in life…”
The fact is that much of life is made up of reaping where we have not sown and planting where we shall never reap. (DIH, 48–49)
In this growing season, consider the hands; seen and unseen, that have planted seeds that have nourished you. What is the legacy that has been handed down to you from your ancestors, teachers, colleagues? What legacies have been passed on to you that you want to make sure to pass on to others? Tell the family stories to the next generation.
That cool thing about you—where did that come from? Consider what legacy you will leave behind. What is it you “plant” and “cultivate” that you may never see the final outcome? How does it define you as a person?
Happy Planting!!!! ~Michelle