Monday, May 7, 2007

Another Parable

There was a farmer and his wife who had been married for several years. Like all married couples, they had started out with the fire of love burning hot in their hearts. They also carried the same vision of a large, orderly and prosperous farm. For this reason, it did not matter to them that their land was marginal at best, with thin soil, an overabundance of rocks, and too little water. They would stay up late talking many nights about their vision and their passion for their labor and for each other.
As time went on they both worked extremely hard to build their home and their farm. They worked so hard that they saw each other seldom and communicated mostly through notes left on the kitchen table. It became their habit to write the notes in bullet points to keep things brief and to the point. With this system they were able to very efficiently communicate most of their day-to-day needs to one another. Every month they would sit down at the table to review the books and cover any important issues that required decisions. The ate their meals quickly with little time to savor the food. At night, they would go to bed early, tired to the bone, beyond speaking, and fall into restless, dreamless sleep, far apart on a king size bed.
Their farm prospered and they became wealthy.
During one of their monthly meetings, they came to the end of their agenda. It has been a very good year. In fact, all that they had set out to do so many years ago had been accomplished. They sat across from each other in silence drinking in the fact of it. They realized that while they had been speaking the snow had been falling. The animals had plenty of food and bedding. There were no crops to tend or plant, for it was the dead of winter. The house was quiet. The farmer got a bottle of wine from the cupboard, opened it and poured each of them a glass. She lit a fire in the fireplace. They sat together at the fire. They did not talk for a long, long while, for they felt they had said enough about the farm that night. Instead they simply sat close together. They fell asleep right there in each other’s arms.
They continued their habit of monthly meetings, but now always ended it with wine and fire, sitting together and holding each other. Eventually they found that they did not need to write notes, because they began to find time to meet each day, often several times a day to talk. They often talked about other things besides business – a story about something that happened in town, or a description of a delicate mist rimmed sunrise on a fall morning on the field back by the river.
Their farm continued to prosper, but now they noticed that when they ate together their food was more flavorful and fulfilling, and their sleep was long and deep and full of dreams. Now they remembered the early days, when it was not just about their work, but also about their love. Now they realized that they had figured out how to build on that too.
Their farm prospered, and they continued to enjoy the blessings of their wealth, and they were filled with joy in the midst of it.

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