Tidewater Times April 2019

Page 77

Getting Ready Gardens, Baseball & Boats by Michael Valliant

With apologies to Forrest Gump, life might be more like gardening, boating, or baseball than a box of chocolates. And the key to any of those three things, and maybe life, is what happens in the spring. Gardens don’t happen without planting seeds. Whether you are growing flowers, fruit, or vegetables, it starts with no glory, just clearing and caring for the beds, planting seeds, and making sure you help create the best conditions for growth. We live in a results-now, instant gratification world. We want everything packaged and handed to us now. Harvest, please. But Robert Louis Stevenson gives us another take when he writes, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.” Spring is also a time for planting seeds in ourselves ~ spring cleaning and planting for our souls. The growth and rebirth going on around us can remind us and help us model those same processes. And if we want to create or grow something all new, we need new thoughts or seeds to make it happen. Trappist monk, poet, and writer

Thomas Merton has been a lifeline for me. There have been times in my life, feeling like I am hanging on by a thread, when his words have carried me, picked me up, and given me something to stand on. In his book, New Seeds of Contemplation, he talks about making new choices and thinking new thoughts.

“We will learn to take the risks implied by faith, to make the choices that deliver us from our routine self and open us to the door of a new being, a new reality,” Merton wrote. “The mind that is a prisoner of conventional ideas, and the will that is the captive of its own desire cannot accept the seeds of an unfamiliar truth and a supernatural desire.” Sam Calagione went from being 75

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