Harvest Time by Joan LeBoeuf

"Nature is, above all, profligate.   Don't believe them when they tell  you how economical and thrifty nature is, whose leaves return to the soil.  Wouldn't it be cheaper to leave them on the tree in the first  place?" - Annie Dillard

Abundance and abandon characterize the natural order; generosity breeds generosity.  The below poem by Mary Pratt which I came upon earlier this week, brought to mind Annie Dillard's quote. The contrast between profligate nature that Dillard describes and Demeter (a Greek Goddess of the harvest) is surprising. After all, to achieve an abundant harvest, one cannot hoard the seed, or be loath to bury it in the ground. In a similar way, we need to embrace the cycles of death and life in our own growth. We can hold on to things too long, afraid that if we give them back to the ground we will never see them again. in fact, the opposite is true. Giving up is the only way to abundance. If we don't let go, we will find ourselves starving as the autumn comes.

Hecate Explaining Demeter
Mary F C Pratt

She never liked the letting go:
the seeds she sowed,
the Spring.

She turned aside
the river’s flow,
she hated everything

that died.
She never learned
to drop a single stone.

And so she walks the autumn
fields unhappy,
all alone.

Notes: Joan LeBeouf's artwork was found here
Mary Pratt's poetry can be found on her website here.
Marge Dickinson
11/15/2011 06:36:52 am

Good illustrations of a great spiritual truth: "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (I still love the old King James wording.)

5/7/2012 11:40:14 am

But this is _Hecate_ explaining Demeter...after the Persephone trauma, childless Hecate became Persephone's companion to the underworld every year. A surrogate mother, perhaps. Demeter might have conflicted feelings every spring because she knows that the abundance she plants is also an early reminder that she will have to let her daughter go again.

Mary Pratt
5/9/2012 01:40:41 pm

I hadn't thought about Hecate as a surrogate mother for Persephone, and I like it. I do think of Hecate, being "old," as one who understands and accepts the cycle. It's great fun to see what people make of my poems--a bit like dropping a seed in the ground, not knowing what kind of fruit it will bear (if any!). Thank you for posting, and commenting.

Mary Pratt
5/9/2012 01:41:17 pm

I'd love to hear new comments, too.


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