This truth I tell,
unless a wheat grain falls into earth and dies,
it remains just a single grain;
but should it die there,
much fruit will it surely bear.
John 12: 24-25
How is hope planted or buried in the soil of these times?
vibrant and verdant,
springtime softens winter sharpness.
Long has life languished,
in urgent anticipation
of a seasonal revolution,
aching for the return
of warmer rains
to seep into frosted corners
so leafy windblown casts
of a brittle past,
encrusted with toil and loss,
can soak and crumble
into loamy dark,
ready to receive
what we thought
had been buried
but was actually planted.
So subtly significant
between burying and planting;
the slightest shift of intention,
attitude and expectation
can turn the motivation for interment;
from grave to ground,
committal to commitment,
dissipation to dispersal;
from scattered sprinkling
to soil seeding
with possibilities unseeable;
from sorrow-sodden lacrimation
to watering and quietly awaiting
tiny emerald eruptions of fragile hope.
I’ll plant and water, sow and weed,Edith Nesbit
Till not an inch of earth shows brown,
And take a vow of each small seed
To grow to greenness and renown …
Being fallow, remaining receptive,
are more than the passive attitudes
of a lengthening season.
Seedtime requires furrowing—
willing breakdown and soul softening—
that openly permits promised renovation to root.
One barrier yet remains
impervious to malleable mercy:
the hard-baked clay of cynicism.
For the sin of the cynic
smugly rests in the presumption to already know,
thus allowing nothing new to root and grow.
The deep roots never doubt spring will come.Marty Rubin
spare, cleared, scoured and bare,
surrounded by starkness and surrender,
such are the signals
of deeper discontent and disquiet
that prepare the soul for penetration.
Soil must be broken open,
seed broadly flung,
What feels like losing,
careless casting of life,
is but part
of the broader, longer
resignation and relinquishment;
of clenched fist,
of calloused cruelty,
of haughty disregard
that seek only to condemn,
the gush of grace.
This free-flowing seedtime shower
drenches and disturbs
to draw newness out through the crack.
What is all this juice and all this joy?Gerard Manley Hopkins
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning.
Indeed the hardest part of growing new
is not giving up, but giving in
to the relentless rush of restoration.
To believe again,
through necessary change in mind and heart-sight,
that nothing is ever really lost or wasted.
For the worst and worn out
still is needed
to fertilize the new and freshly unexpected.
We shake with joy, we shake with grief.Mary Oliver
What a time they have these two
housed as they are in the same body.
After a winter of lonely longing,
may you bury deep despair
and plant a joyful seed with tender care!