You Reap What You Sow

If there’s an iron law in farming, it’s this: You reap what you sow.

Amid all farming’s guidelines, suggestions, best practices, rules of thumb, ballpark figures, and back-of-the envelope calculations, this one thing holds true always and everywhere. You reap what you sow.

And yesterday, as I watched with horror and revulsion as the riot unfolded in our Capitol, I thought—and not for the first time this past year—You reap what you sow.

For quite a while in this nation, the president and his enablers have been sowing poisonous seeds, and now we all reap this bitter harvest.

I won’t lie: I am tempted to despair. These noxious weeds are now so deeply rooted that clearing them will be a long, hard job. It seems likely to take years. But the problem didn’t develop overnight, and it won’t be fixed overnight.

But here’s the good news, the thing that keeps me from despair: You reap what you sow.

We farmers and growers and gardeners know some things about the hard work of sowing and reaping. Seeds must be nurtured and plants cared for and tended to all season long before we receive a harvest. Perennial flowers can take a couple of years to establish before they grace the garden with their beauty. Fruiting shrubs take longer. Trees, a lifetime.

We farmers and growers and gardeners also know some things about what it takes to bring an abused field back into good tilth. How to transform a neglected garden into a place of heart-rending beauty. How to meet fecklessness and carelessness and vandalism with determined and loving care.

We farmers and growers and gardeners know how to take the long view. We know how to do the work now that will yield a good harvest in months and years and even decades to come. We know that you reap what you sow.

So, my friends, grieve if you will, rage if you must, but only for a moment. Above all, despair not. We may be in the frozen and forlorn heart of winter, but spring is coming, and with it good work to do. Let’s get ready to do that work. Let’s get ready to plant some good seeds.