Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Creative Writing: By Hand

Words and image by F LoBuono

I was up in the garden the other day, pitchfork in hand, hard at work, tilling the soil, when Catherine approached me and said, "why bother to do that by hand? We use the roto-tiller every year and it's much more efficient and effective. With the machine it will take you an hour. By hand, it'll take a week". I agreed (it's generally better TO agree) but with an explanation. I WANTED to do it by hand for a few reasons. I like the direct connection it gives me to the earth. I know, I know; sounds like tree-hugging nonsense. But I love to feel the earth - to smell it when you first break the ground with the pitchfork. And the air is so fresh at this time of year. The sun is strong but the air is crisp. After a few moments with the 'fork, there's no need for a sweatshirt anymore. Forget the gym. This is all the exercise that you'll ever need. And as you dig, you think. Then you realize that tilling by hand is a metaphor for life. It's difficult. It will take me a week of hard turning to till the entire garden. And I'm sore after every session. It's tedious sometimes, too. Have I taken on more than I can chew, I say to myself as I survey the vast space. I'll never make it! With every row I break, it seems another one grows in it's place! But, after time, row by row, cut by cut, the amount of tilled ground grows while the area left to till shrinks. Row by row, cut by cut. I can actually see the end now - enough to be satisfied in the fact that my hard work will pay off. This is the first step, the foundation, for what will, hopefully, at summer's end, be a healthy garden that yields a hearty bounty.

And such is life. It's hard sometimes - tedious, too. And often we wonder if all that hard work, all that effort, will pay off. But if you continue, row by row, cut by cut, to till your soul and prepare it to receive the seeds of knowledge, you will be rewarded with a garden of plenty.

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