Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ritual. Planting.

At the end of last month we were placing the last lot of vegetable seeds in the ground. Rake, rake, poke holes, place the corn and beans seeds in the ground and cover them up. Such a simple Spring ritual that has been a human activity for thousands of years. The future of the garden too is all mapped out; watch for the emerging plants, weed out the competition, keep the soil moist. Eventually we will begin to harvest the crop as the summer cools and the nights grow longer. Harvesting and preserving: canning, freezing, drying, saving seed for next year. Ready for winter with potatoes and other winter vegetables still in the garden to be harvested throughout the cold dark months. An extended ritual that is not generally acknowledged as such, not given its due in the life of the spirit.

The big religions of the world seem to have moved on to higher things, - Compassion, Moral Responsibility, Love of God - , but all those old religions to do with the seasonal round, the Earth and our place within it, are somehow primitive and beneath our notice. Some people still say Grace at meal times, in some form or other recognizing our connectedness to earth, air, fire and water, on ‘wind and rain and sun above’, but if we are not directly involved in the growing process the ritual becomes a little empty. Without that connection our lives are a little empty too.

All parts of life are a continuing ritual connecting us with the earth and we need to feel and honour that if we are to fully live out our days as individuals, societies and as a species.

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