One generation plants the seeds
The next generation gathers the shade.
No seeds are wasted.
All life serves and has purpose beyond our knowing.
A few weeks before John died, he went to Frazee's Garden, our favorite spot here in Brownsburg to buy a replacement for my St. Francis statue that had cracked after years of enduring the seasons; and he found a chime that he just had to buy for me that said: One generation plants the seeds...the next generation gathers the shade.
This chime still hangs right outside my kitchen door and was banging without rest as the winds kicked up earlier this week. It was beckoning me so I stepped onto the porch of my farmhouse and soaked in the wisdom of those words as if I were reading them for the first time.
I remember when John first died, reading the chime and being in awe that this message would be written on one of his final gifts to me. And feeling even in the midst of my shatteredness, a sense of all the seeds he had planted throughout his lifetime. I couldn't even wrap my brain around all the lives he had touched as the invisible thread is immeasurable. These seeds would continue to blossom and grow; and those of us left behind would rest in the shade of his love - all the gifts his life bestowed on us. This would be never-ending, beyond his lifetime as others who didn't even know him would experience the shade through me and all who shared this journey with him.
It struck me that this wasn't only true for John's life but for ALL life. No life is wasted. Often, we place judgment on those who have come before us, generations past. We look at their lives, how they showed up, what they did or didn't do with a critical eye instead of being in appreciation of their journey. In the year 2013, we absolutely do things differently than the generations before and yet we stand on the roads they paved and the trails they blazed. To give thanks for the seeds they planted and accept that the choices we have today weren't an option for generations before (even one generation before us). But I believe that all that we reap today is the direct result of the seeds they dared to plant.
I invite you to give thanks for those generations who have come before you - no matter how screwed up they may appear. No life is wasted. And in this gratitude for their lives and the shade you now enjoy, you will have a deeper appreciation for your own life and the planting of your own seeds throughout your lifetime.