“Before the reward there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.” ~Ralph Ransom
The farmer's life is one of admirable, painstaking patience.
As the season of planting begins to draw near, the farmer must begin the process of preparing the earth in a variety of ways so that it not only receives the seeds, but also nurtures and nourishes them. Then, once planted, the seeds can slowly crack open their outer layers and begin their process, in the darkness of the earth, of sprouting their fine little shoots into the soil. And hopefully, those seeds will grow larger over time to bear good produce for all to partake in.
But time is the key; and in that gestational stage, so is the darkness.
The process of planting seeds and then waiting for the harvest is a long and arduous one; it requires much patience, wisdom, intuition, understanding, and an ability to see into the far distance the harvest that is to come, albeit after a great wait.
It is not a process where the results or the rewards of the toil are immediately seen or tasted, nor is it a process where there is any guarantee. Instead, it is a process that requires faith, and the basic understanding that if one courageously takes the necessary steps, makes the necessary effort, remains steadfast and hopeful, and maintains a vision of what can potentially be produced, then all things lean in the direction of success and an abundant harvest.
But the wait, in the dark... that is the challenge. But not for the experienced farmer.
The experienced farmer with seasons upon seasons of sowing and harvesting knows this process of toiling and waiting intimately, has befriended it, and is not discouraged.
She understands the very nature of what is required to bear good fruit, to produce that abundant harvest, and her enthusiasm is not dampened by the time, the effort, the silence in the darkness that it takes to reap what has been sown at the perfect moment.
And I am inspired by that farmer, and by her wisdom and her understanding.
I am inspired by her patience, her work ethic, her aches and pains, and her long-suffering until she can witness and then taste the fruit of her labor, at last.
I am that new farmer, toiling and working the soil, preparing it, and planting seeds of my own into the dark, quiet, still earth...
I can feel the sweat on my brow, the sun beating down on my shoulders...
And now, all I can do is wait—wait with eagerness, with anticipation, with faith, and with hope in a vision of an abundant harvest that is to come when the fruit is ripe and sweet.
But for now, my seeds are in the soil, in the earth, in the darkness...
After all, that is where all new life begins.
Taste what's good and pass it on.