“Remember the time has come to plow again.” Hesiod, Works and Days
Something deep within us stirs. We feel that spring should be more than just different weather outside. Sure it changes how we dress; and now we have to mow the lawn. Baseball season returns, and flowers bloom.
Yet we sense that more should change. Such a dramatic awakening in all the natural world, must involve us too. Shouldn’t human life be part of the larger cycle of life? Does not that which moves the birds to sing and the buds to swell likewise move us…to do something?
But to what are we moved?
In Hesiod’s command to remember, there is an implicit warning: we can forget. We can forget, even while signs are all around us, that the time has come to plow again. For all of us.
The book of Genesis has God settle man in a garden “to cultivate and care for it.” But what does this mean, especially for us today?
I for one am convinced that I have some remembering to do: somehow my human identity and vocation is to be one who cultivates. And I have not yet realized what this demands. Surely there is even more to it than putting seeds in the earth and tending them.
Yet perhaps putting seeds in the ground is a great place to begin, and to reflect. So that we might learn again who we are, and what spring is calling us to be, year after year.
Hesiod (8th century B.C.) was a Greek contemporary of Homer, and likewise an epic poet. His Works and Days sketches the year-round work on a homestead.
Image: Carl Larsson (1853-1919)
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
“Man’s ability to see is in decline. Those who nowadays concern themselves with culture and education will experience this fact again and again. We do not mean here, of course, the physiological sensitivity of the human eye. We mean here the spiritual capacity to...read more
“Man is the only animal nature has endowed with the gift of speech.” Aristotle, Politics It is estimated that almost a quarter of American homes have a voice-enabled ‘smart speaker,’ and experts predict that over half of households will within a few years. The lion’s...read more
“For not to go only, but to enter there, was naught else but to will to go, but to will it resolutely and thoroughly; not to stagger and sway about this way and that, a changeable and half-wounded will, wrestling, with one part falling as another rose. The mind...read more
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.