“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Yesterday afternoon the sky over the farm grew heavy and dark. The air was hot and humid, with not a hint of breeze. I had finished a busy day of phone readings and retreat preparations, and I would have loved to sink into a chair with a cold drink, or jump in the pool to cool down.
Instead I put on some old clothes and headed down to the river flats with Ben to sow grass seed.
Gradually we’ve been reclaiming areas of our farm that were long neglected. We’ve mosaic-cleared patches of lantana, privet and camphor using an excavator, and replanted them with good paddock grasses as feed for the cattle, or with rainforest trees that restore some of the original biodiversity of this area. We are an organic farm, so we don’t use chemicals. Instead we clear with machines and by hand. It’s more work, but its honest work, and it keeps us deeply in touch with our land and our herd.
Rain is predicted in the next few days, so it’s a good time to sow seed. Sometimes work needs to come before rest.
We sow this seed by placing the fine seeds into buckets and then taking handfuls and scattering them on any bare patches of soil in front of us. We also like to sow seed directly over cow pats. The rich fertiliser gives the seed a fantastic start.
It’s actually a restful and contemplative job. While we walked the paddocks we watched our nesting pair of wedgetail eagles teaching their two hatchlings how to fly and hunt. The air was filled with their cries, and the typical ‘I’m hungry’ squawks of the junior birds who were wanting to be fed.
A lone black cockatoo soared overhead.
Wallabies came out to graze now that the worst heat of the day had passed.
Bert stayed on the back of the ute, watching the world go by and feeling very important.
And a hopeful Harry followed us everywhere with his new rope toy, waiting for a game.
In a month or so we’ll see a bright green flush of new grass, and the thick blades of millet poking through the soil. We’re resting this paddock right now, while our cattle graze up in the orchard and around the hills. By autumn we’ll have a good source of feed to carry us into winter.
Farming teaches us lessons that are also valuable in life.
What seeds can you sow this week that might blossom for you in the future? How can you improve an area of your life by putting in some time and energy?
Yesterday I also completed my NaNoWriMo challenge for 2014 – that crazy plan of writing 50 000 words in November.
Some of those words are pretty darned awful. But now I have an awful first draft I have something to work with, and to shape into a book that is a whole lot better than this initial attempt. If I’d never started, I wouldn’t have those 52 303 words to work with! It’s a cracking start, and I’m itching to keep going now that I have some momentum.
So, what results do you want to be able to harvest in your life? I challenge you to go sow some seeds to make that happen.