High on the list of gifts that retirement has given me is that I have the time to read as long as I want to first thing in the morning. I love to start each day with a book that touches my soul and causes me to reflect on the simple riches in our lives.
This morning I read another chapter of Kayann Short’s “A Bushel’s Worth,” an ecobiography I am cherishing more with each new chapter. She and her husband brought to their relationship a mutual love for the land from varied earlier experiences. Presently they live on a century farm, Stonebridge, which had been operated by many different owners through the years and who left behind clear evidence of their respect and good stewardship of the land. The book is a lovely celebration of our connection to soil, to past traditions, to a community working together on a farm for a healthy, common cause that benefits all, to sharing each season of Mother Nature’s bounty, some years in abundance and other years less so.
I looked up from the book, my heart filled with the richness of Short’s writing and looked over at my bay window. My eyes fastened on the pot with three fragile new seedlings and I remembered the day I found those seeds.
Last winter, I spent some time in Florida with my youngest daughter, Susan. There, one day we went for a lovely walk in the area where she lives, Lake Worth. Later in the day, after she’d gone to work, I walked again by myself and spent time looking particularly at the varied sizes and types of palms. I was sitting near a small lake as I mindfully emptied my head of unimportant thoughts and focused on the palms swaying gently near me, then waited quietly as new words and thoughts entered.
Returning to Susan’s apartment, I strolled on a road divided by a line of palms. Beneath one tree lay an abundance of palm seeds, nuggets about the size of a pecan. They appeared weathered and bruised and I wondered if they’d regenerate as I slipped three into my pocket, hoping at least one would grow into a palm for inside my home.
A few weeks ago, I found the forgotten seeds and planted them in a triangle pattern in a small pot.This morning I smiled yet again as I looked at the three tiny palms that have sprouted. If possible, my heart swelled even further from the earlier riches of my reading, into awe. How wealthy are those who, in their individual ways, treasure Mother Nature’s simple riches. We accept her precious gifts of seed, soil, water, and light and can, with a little care, transform them into yet another generation of new life.