Finding Better Seeds: The Acres Have Been Anything But Idle

| 7/13/2010 7:38:46 PM

Tags: Andrew Odom,, Russell Conwell, seeds, life, death,

A photo of Drew Odom     I ask not for a larger garden, but for finer seeds. – Russell H. Conwell

Many have asked where we have been; Pan and I. We haven’t gone far really. We’ve been enveloped in life as it has happened all around us. Since my last post I have put a few other things up but nothing of dire consequence and nothing more than therapeutic blog posts really. June was a busy a month bringing about another birthday for myself, the passing of my dear Granny Dot, the visitations of all my siblings and their families, mornings in the fields and evenings in the gardens, days spent in the kitchen trying to make sense of it all, and quiet times investing in my wife and our relationship. It has been good and it has been bad, all at once. But it has been life.

I have become more aware with each passing day what I value and what I find trivial; what I want and what I could do without. I have latched on to relationships I had been ignoring and let go of the death grip I had on some toxic people that were lingering for sheer nostalgia sake. And I came across a quote that summed my entire heart up.

Russell Conwell was the son of Yankee, Massachusetts, farmers. He fought for the Union Army in the Civil War. He attended Yale University. He was a Baptist Minister and a practicing attorney. And most importantly he was the founder of what is now Temple University. As one can imagine he was a fantastic orator having penned several memorable lectures and sermons and authoring even more well known quotes. But perhaps none so beautiful as the one above.

In my life I have made mistakes, and I have been redeemed. I have been greedy, and I have been broke. I have held thousands of dollars, and I have begged for change. But now I sit comfortably at a place I am proud of. I am wealthy though I have no more money than I did year ago. I have dreams, but I am grounded in reality. In essence, I would love a bigger garden. But I am perfectly happy with just having finer seeds.

My grandmother? An heirloom seed indeed. She produced blooms and flowers unparalleled in my book. My wife? An organic gem cracking open with purity and wholesomeness. My parents – hearty and strong – are seeds that have taken time to germinate but have become all the more rewarding because of it. And me? Well, I cringe to say it but do so with honesty; a GM seed. Not born into this whole gardening scene and certainly not raised with dirt under my nails but capable of adapting to the land and the surrounding and ultimately bringing about a crop and a sustenance, nonetheless.

7/16/2010 10:10:06 AM

@Shannon - First of all, thank you for your support and your readership. To answer your question? Well, I don't know really. In my life I have noticed that the frenzy of life and the uncertainty of it all is a fear motivator. As a young man I was afraid to miss things. I was afraid of not being on the cusp of everything. I wanted to be leading the pack by any means. As I have gotten older though I have realized that life is my parade and as long as I believe so, well, I am always out in front leading. We are taught greed from the cradle. For birthdays and Christmas we are given presents. They are OUR toys. They are OUR clothes. We behave as children and we are rewarded? Why? Because we are. It is that simple. We don't always behave because that is what is expected of us. We behave so we can consume a reward. As we get older though I think we realize the reward is actually in the behavior; discipline, respect, kindness, patience, etc.

s.m.r. saia
7/16/2010 10:05:59 AM

Drew, why is it that it takes us such a long time to understand and appreciate what's important in life, to get comfortable with its rhthyms, and to realize just how much of what we think is important or real when we are younger is really just so much static and distraction? I really get where you're coming from in this post, as I've been spending a lot of time there lately myself - particularly thinking about the meaning and implications of both greed and plenty. Thanks so much for being so willing to share your inner life. I always enjoy your posts.

7/16/2010 8:30:25 AM

@Cindy - Thank you for the sweet sentiment and the birthday wishes. I truly appreciate it.

cindy murphy
7/15/2010 9:52:18 PM

My sympathies, Andrew, for the passing of your Granny Dot. Now is the time we realize how important it is to have those fine seeds in our lives. It is they who make it worthwhile hoeing those tough rows we sometimes come across. Thanks for sharing a beautifully honest post. And psst...happy belated birthday.

7/15/2010 1:40:38 PM

Thank you so much MountainWoman and thank you too, Jackie.

7/15/2010 1:29:37 PM

So sorry for your loss...but it sounds like in your grieving and thinking, you have found riches. Thanks for sharing that...very insightful and wholesome. ~Jackie

mountain woman
7/15/2010 12:35:05 PM

Andrew, I'm so very sorry to hear about the passing of your Granny Dot. My heart goes out to you and your family. I relate to what you have written. If I could list my mistakes and the wasteful things I've done, the list would cover the globe. But I have no regrets for I have had a wonderful life and all my mistakes have led me to this moment where I am leading the life I want and dreamed of having and it has nothing to do with possessions or money. So wonderful we have discovered this secret of happiness. Thanks for a fabulous article and once again, I'm so sorry about your Grandmother.

7/15/2010 9:35:25 AM

Thank you Dave for your thoughts. She was an amazing lady and left us with enough smiles, laughs, words of wisdom, etc. to last our lifetimes and beyond. Trust me on that. I am not sure how much I will be blogging until September as Pan and I are actually going to get a long weekend away in August and our harvest is exceeding our expectations so we are much busier in the garden and in the kitchen than we had even hoped for. Praise God! We have been able to preserve AND give a fair amount away. It is awesome. Keep in touch buddy. See you around the homestead!

nebraska dave
7/14/2010 6:58:13 PM

@Drew, sorry to hear about your Granny Dot. Grandmas are special and I had two wonderful Grandmas. I still have many good memories generated from overnight stays with Grandma. I can certainly understand how life gets busy. My next couple months are ramping up with trips and projects that need completed. The weather is just not co-operating here. We are just about to get hit with another storm that’s moving across Nebraska. A cottonwood tree escaped being sawed up because of the 117 heat index today. I know for you southern guys that might be just another day but I’m just not as young as I used to be and there’s always another day. When one reaches my age, hopefully there aren’t too many things that have happened along the trail of life that brings up regrets. My life hasn’t been a picture perfect life. In the words of Jack Nicholson from the movie Bucket List,” I not proud of all the things I’ve done in my life but I’m pretty sure I probably do them all over again.” I too have come to the conclusion that relationships are the only true wealth in life. Out of all the brass rings that I have tried to reach through out the years relationships have been the only thing that brings real satisfaction.

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