Friday, February 19, 2010

The Farmer and the Soil

For my brother-in-law, Scott, a farmer with a passion for the soil and the bounties it brings.

“A farmer went out to sow his seed….”
Matthew 13:3

"A farmer went out to sow his seed,"
    To work and till the land.
He stood and gazed with practiced eye
    At the fields that awaited his hand.

His memory brought back the year before,
    How the crop had blighted and failed;
The seeds had been sown and sprang from the earth,
    Then withered ‘neath the sun’s scorching veil.

Other years passed through his wandering mind,
    Of droughts, pests, and choking thorns;
The long weary days and sleepless nights,
    Then rising again with the dawn.

“This year will be different,” he said to himself.
    “The winter has brought needed rain.
 I’ll till the soil and sow the seed.
    I’ll do it all over again.”

Bending below him, reaching deep in the earth,
    He cradled the warm soil in his palm.
And to his face, he breathed deep its scent,
    The life-giving source of the loam.

From the corner of his eye he spied a rock
    Half-buried in the ground below.
Crouching beside it, he pulled and he tugged,
    For if left there, the seeds would not grow.

He climbed atop his plough that day
    And began the task at hand,
Of breaking the clods of the hard-packed soil,
    And preparing the heart of the land.

He tilled and toiled late into the night,
    For time was not on his side.
The seasons were short; the work must be done,
    Or no crop in this field would abide.

At last with weary, but satisfied steps,
    He climbed down from within the plough.
The field lifted the scent of the soil of its heart,
    And into his heart it did flow.

He loved the earth and its life-giving force;
    The bounties to mankind it would yield.
Only time would tell if his efforts were in vain
    In preparing the soil of this field.

In the morrow he would sow and lovingly tend
    The precious seeds that he placed in the ground.
The summer would wane as he watched them grow
    And fed and nourished each one.

He knew not the outcome, nor counted the cost,
    For each sown seed was dear.
He would patiently wait as each proved its worth,
    ‘Til the harvest of fall drew near.

Then with scythe and sickle he would finish his work;
     Into his storehouses he would bring
The fruit of his labor, the crop it did bear,
    And of the earth’s bounty that did spring.

The chaff and the stalk, he would sling aside;
    Its uselessness had no appeal.
It had borne the wheat and held the fruit,
    But its fate was eternally sealed.

Into the flames he would toss the stalk,
    The wind would blow away the chaff.
His storehouses were full to feed those who hungered,
    And to rest he could go at last.

But the winter is brief, a short respite,
    And spring comes ‘round again.
The farmer awakes from his wintry sleep,
    Another time to toil on his land.

A farmer went out to sow his seed,
    To work and till the land.
He stood and gazed, with practiced eye,
    Upon the field that awaited his hand.

Copyright 2006 Karen L. Brahs

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