Sweet CornPerhaps as our teachers sometimes tell us, there is no such thing as a bad question. That doesn’t mean that some questions aren’t better than others.

It was some years ago driving past a field of corn in the vigor of its early maturity. Who knows at what depth within the boy the note of wonder was struck. Sometimes innocent and unclouded eyes penetrate reality, reaching what is behind the visible. Sensing the unseen in the seen, the boy probed into the pregnant darkness.

“Daddy, where does corn come from?” His father did not yet discern that deep waters were churning. Nonetheless the answer he shot back was both reasonable and true: “It comes from seeds.”

Seeds. The very word sings of mystery, if we have ears to hear: a mystery that reaches to the heart of life. The boy’s ears must have caught a whisper from somewhere. Could it be because his own flesh is sprung from a seed?

“But Daddy, where do seeds come from?”

The question emerged like a rumble from the depths. Indeed, where do the seeds come from?

They come from somewhere. According to some primordial and unchanging order, they come. To us.

One thing ought to be apparent: seeds of every kind are a gift. A gift to be received, and to be treasured. And to be sown, in due season. In love.

How to convey this to a boy? How to live this as a man?

Thank you, son, for asking this question. I will always treasure it. And it is ours to find an answer together.

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