A cover crop like annual ryegrass gives fertile minds the room to use it as a metaphor, or symbol.
The roots of ryegrass go deep, like the roots of our common heritage as humans. Whether we came from Europe, Africa, Pacific Islands or Asia, we derive from the same holy place. We thrive each day by consuming the bounty of the earth. We surrender to that same earth on the day of our death.
The inter-workings of Earth and the Solar System have conspired to make life habitable: breathable air, drinkable water and nurturing soil. Caring for each helps to assure our continued life here, among all the plants and animals that also sustain us.
Partisanship has no comparison in agriculture. You either work together with nature or you shrivel. Cooperation of the Native people made the Pilgrim’s first weeks on this continent possible. Cooperation with your neighbors in times of hardship and in times of joy, has given this country the chance to show a beacon of hope to other countries struggling with fairness and with sufficient food. Communities, like cover crops, help to blunt the erosion of society and to grow a more healthy crop of children to take our place.
Annual ryegrass is a vehicle for bringing together the elements of our environment. Rain feeds its birth; sun feeds it’s growth; and the decay of all things that make up the soil feeds its nutrient qualities.
In turn, annual ryegrass – like other cover crops – feeds the soil and feeds the crops that follow. In like fashion, we are called upon by our faiths to do likewise. The product of our goodwill towards others begets a new season of peace.
But society, like annual ryegrass and the soil itself, takes careful management. We cannot take for granted that our liberty and our freedoms feed themselves. Without awareness and action, the life in our community can be leached away. Being able to guide our culture thorough the deep values in our life is as important as knowing how to improve the pH and organic matter in your fields.
At this time of Thanksgiving, think about your place in the chain of life.Consider how your life is similar to a cover crop…how your roots go deep into a soil of age-old values, how your sturdy form and health have given life to others, how the fruits of your labors have created life and work for others. And consider, too, how those who you have never known, who you will never meet, also contribute to your health and your family’s sense of security and well being.
May you know peace. May you enjoy health. And may you find at this time of year, an opportunity to give thanks and show gratitude for all those who have contributed to your life.