“But on a well-banked plot Odysseus found his father in solitude
Spading the earth around a young fruit tree.” Homer, Odyssey, Bk XXIV
The father of Odysseus, Laertes, is an old man. Yet he is spading the earth around a young fruit tree. Spading the earth, as all real work, requires foresight, effort, discipline. Here is a man laboring for a fruit he will not see. A taste that is beyond his lips nonetheless moves his hands, because it is in his heart. Such is a father. He has the power to see what cannot be seen—because it simply isn’t there. Yet. His life is a series of will-be’s, for others. If he is faithful; if he is true to his own love. Oh, whence the power to be true to the love he has in his heart? True love gives not only fore-sight, it makes that vision creative; creating a fruit yielded by no other soil–one great day.
This Wednesday Household Quote is dedicated to my father, a planter of trees, who passed from this life early Monday morning, September 16, 2013. The photo is of my father, Chris, and my son, Nicholas.
Homer (8th century B.C.) is the great epic poet, author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
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Husband, father, and professor of Philosophy. Bacon from Acorns springs from one conviction: there is an ancient wisdom about how to live the good life in our homes, with our families; and it is worth our time to hearken to it. Let’s rediscover it together. Learn more.