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Thursday, October 14, 2010
Celebrating the Harvest
All around us are signs of an abundant harvest. At the farm where my wife works, they had their last CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) pick up last night. Happy customers left with bulging baskets of food and flowers. In Vermont anyway, it has been a good year for all the local CSA’s. The earth has been particularly generous this season.
In the midst of this abundant harvest, it is worth reflecting back to the planting season. All this abundance began last spring in the form of seedlings and the back breaking work of planting and tending gardens and pumpkin patches.
Now apply the metaphor to your work and life. Those of you with particularly good memories will remember last week’s blog about the award winning napkin drawer Jim Dawkins. I sent Jim a copy of the blog, informing him that he had just received his 15 minutes of fame.
Jim wrote back with a reflection on his work as a professor at Florida State University. I thought his comments were worth sharing with you in this harvest season. It is the least I could do for someone who has blown their 15 minutes of fame on my blog. Jim writes:
The return on my investment (i.e. the success of my own hand) is confirmed when someone else makes something equally or more creative with that particular seed that was planted, either an idea or a full-blown rendering.
Since we're entering the Thanksgiving season it hit me that planting the seed should be celebrated just as much as reaping the fruit during harvest. I can't think of anything specific, but I know there are both simple and elaborate planting festivals or ceremonies all over the world. I guess where I'm going with this is that my 'simple' act of drawing (and teaching) will hopefully inspire others (my students) to embrace the joy of drawing, of improving an unproven but innate skill, of making something better out of something good. Plant it and enjoy watching it grow. Nothing like "growing" design students at FSU or young professionals in the architecture and interior design business - what a reward!
The earth yields its abundance when we faithfully plant small seeds and tend them. The university yields creative and caring students when people like Jim Dawkins teach and tend them.
In her book Call to the Soul, Marjory Bankson defines call this way:
“Call has to do with discovering our particular field of action or the part of God’s realm that is ours to tend at any given time.”
What seeds are you planting these days? What garden are you tending?
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