At a funeral, the pastor spoke endearingly about the deceased and how he loved farming, and especially harvest. He said things like, “To harvest, you must sow. You reap what you sow. You reap more than you sow.” He spoke of quality seeds, readying for a timely harvest, and growing seed for future crops.
As we are in the heart of autumn, the pastor’s analogies of the harvest to life rang bright and accurate. My children farm, and like all farmers, they grow mighty strong constitutions. They plan, work, hope, and pray, and after a devastating hailstorm, drought, or windstorm, can say, “Well, maybe next year.”
My memories of harvest included high stress. There was machinery to repair, scary weather forecasts, erratic commodity prices, as well as intensive hours and short tempers. I was glad to be in the kitchen and play the “Gopher” game: “You “go for” parts.”
Howard Buffett, the middle child of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, said, “Each of us has about 40 chances to accomplish our goals in life. I learned this first through agriculture because all farmers can expect to have about 40 growing seasons, giving them just 40 chances to improve on every harvest.
Harvest happens in many aspects of life: Graduations, Christmas for retail stores, authors publishing a book, Spring for greenhouse and landscape businesses, or the county fair for 4-H kids. We do reap what we sow, and harvest is a motiving force. Without the hope of rewards for endless effort, daily grind would be mundane.
Mental wellness also has harvest and reaps what we sow. If we care for our bodies, hang out with positive people who treat us well, find the humor in life, and practice the art of kindness, our mental harvest has a far better chance of reaping happiness and self-respect. On the flip side, if we lose our voices, accept abuse from others, eat an abundance of salt, sugar, and fat, let addictions rule our days, or have no dreams for the future, our harvest is bleak.
Just like harvest in our Colorado Plains, we don’t have control over damaging external factors, but we can certainly plan, prepare, and make wise and healthy choices to up our odds for mental wellness.
Our standards dictate what we sow. What do we accept, excuse, or minimize? What do we value, respect, and expect? We are in control of what we plant and nurture, and therefore, in control of our mental harvest.
Closing with a quote by Maya Angelou: “If we don’t plant the right things, we will reap the wrong things. It goes without saying. And you don’t have to be, you know, a brilliant biochemist and you don’t have to have an IQ of 150. Just common sense tells you to be kind, ninny, fool. Be kind.”
We usually do reap what we sow.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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