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To Mr. Grant Brooks
Dated April 15th, 2023 Anno Domini
Gordonsville, VA April 15th, 2023 Anno Domini
I hope this letter finds you well and that the Lord has blessed your household during this season of rebirth. Spring is the best season, in that it’s a young man’s season. Many say its the best season to be young in, even better than Summer, as Summer is the pleasant lazy awaiting of Autumn’s reaping of possibilities. But Spring, Spring is the sowing of possibilities.
Begging your forgiveness in regards to the heavy-handed poetic metaphors, I feel as though the facts of the times in which we currently live must be impressed upon you, as they have begun to impress themselves upon me. It has become trite and boring to speak of the general state of the country, the history which led to this general state, and to continue to draw conclusions from the latter in re the former. Indeed, living off of last year’s harvest has never been conducive to anything save for mere survival.
But the Good Lord measures out each day, and depleting last year’s supply serves as the instigator for sowing this year’s seeds. Hunting this year’s game. Fishing this year’s fish. It’s the time the Grizzly Bear of the Great West leaves his cavern, the time Cardinals return northward from browning pastures once green, when brown northern pastures green themselves through the days the Lord measured from the beginning of creation.
Pollen besieges the eye, rainclouds gray the sky only to leave the wood in a deeper emerald hue, and our evenings are extended to pleasant conversations after work over gin and roasting beef on charcoal-warmed iron grills. The frigid stillness of winter is behind us, the humid summer stagnation is not yet here. Now is the medium of the year, the time for planting, the time for cultivating.
It is of cultivation that I write you, a topic we’ve discussed several times to general agreement if not any established actionable end. Cultivation is measuring out the time as we understand it to allow the Good Lord’s creation to do its work. It does no good to chop the sugar-cane when it’s as thin as cat-tails. In this respect, the farmer is among those few professions closest to the Lord in emulation.
The Good Lord watches all things at all times, indeed, knew all times and all things all at the beginning which to him has never ended or really began. To us, imprisoned here by the tyranny of space, time, and other forces, we must understand the Lord entirely by metaphor. He brings about his will through the seemingly minuscule movements of atoms, or the flapping of butterfly wings which set in motion a chain of events which causes Hurricanes to slam the Gulf shore. So too, does the farmer place a seed less than the size of his fingernail into the wet earth, knowing with perfect knowledge that, barring a swarm of locusts, the field flooding, the lack of sunlight or an unpredicted drought, it will mature into a strand of wheat come Autumn, when it can be refined into the substance the Good Lord gives us daily.
The ideal farmer does not despair the loss of a single plant, or even half a field’s. He measures out exactly what he believes he needs after accounting for reasonable losses of crop, expecting nothing more and hoping for nothing less. Then, he cultivates. He ensures the seeds are properly spread, that their roots need not compete for space. He digs ditches where the water from spring storms pools separate from the seeds and seeps into the ground giving them further life. And, come the season of harvest, he reaps what he has sown and thanks the Good Lord for the blessing of another year.
We have spoken frankly about the state of the cause we both love, which we both criticize out of love though the fact oft slips from our minds. There are some among said cause who, when taken by a mood, can undo months if not years of mental progress in regards to an actionable solution, and a proper utilization of resources. Yet fields can be planted so long as spring greens the pastures and the Grizzly Bear leaves his cave and the birds return north from their winter retreats.
We rest in the bosom of the Lord in our Springtime. We are cultivating those seeds which restore to us the life the Lord has ordained upon Calvary. The end is not here, sir. For we have barely to begin.
I have the pleasure of being your most humble and obedient servant, Paul F