It was a simple Sunday school lesson when I was ten: two wise men were walking and discussing what they would do should they have but 24 hours left to live. One noticed a farmer working in a field and thought they might ask him. The peasant replied, "I'd keep on ploughing".
Perhaps my interest in gardening has kept this parable fresh but a visit to Haiti brought awareness that place of birth is pure luck. I was seeded on tillable earth. Blisters, bugs and sweat are acceptable parts of being its steward. Mass, energy, time and space are real when one gardens. Only people who work their spot feel this intimacy with the earth.
Americans grouse over the price of milk and think it comes in a jug and they fear immigrants who will do earthy work avoided by the more educated. I see this as a desire for Eden without labor. Successful cultures forget this. When the soil is depleted are there are too many dependents and the loss of stewardship for forests and gardens, the society fails. Common sense dictates that we need wise men who listen to men behind the plow.