Sunday, April 02, 2006

Booker T.

No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. (reference)

Billy mentioned this quote to me the other day. it is from Booker T. Washington (i can't find an exact source for the quote).

i might say that in my experience there is as much grace to be found in working the soil as there is in exploring theology (or any other "ology" for that matter). i'm already deeply blessed to be working the soil in our garden and planting the seeds that will (hopefully) grow to carry fruit and feed us.

this quote has yet a deeper meaning for us as we grow food in our yard. Washington was a remarkable ambassador for racial reconciliation in his day and our time spent in the garden is frequently punctuated by conversations with our african american neighbors. our garden is creating a space for conversation and an opportunity to learn more about our neighborhood. talking about growing greens and tomatoes with our neighbors has already fostered a sense of mutuality and joint anticipation. by God's grace, there will be more to come.

1 comment:

billy said...


Thanks for putting up this picture of Booker T. and sharing about how your gardening has helped to create a context for conversation with your neighbors. Maria and have found the same thing to be true in our neighborhood. It is a great way to meet people even as you are helping to beautify the neighborhood and produce food to sustain life. It is hard to envision anything negative about this overall process-it kind of reminds me of when Paul says in Galatians that "there is no law against these kinds of things." It is so hard to avoid entanglement with the "machinery" of life, within which we so easily become mute "parts" coldy discharging our duties. Working with the soil reminds us that, as Edmund Husserl once said, the "Earth" itself is the "original ark."