Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gleaning Season

The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet, 1857

'Tis the season for gleaning. Around here, volunteers comb through fields of vegetables after the farmers have harvested and glean the remainders for the food bank. Carrots, potatoes, pumpkins, squashes, broccoli, apples.

I'm out gleaning my own vegetable garden. Gathering the last of the cherry tomatoes, the last broccoli side shoots, a few more tomatillos and ground cherries. I'm also gleaning pine cones from the woods because they make such excellent fire starters for the wood stove and fireplace. My little old apple tree actually has apples, so i'm gathering them up in order to not encourage the deer to come and eat them.

We glean what we can from various spiritual paths. Perhaps we are attracted to one path, and, bit by bit, we gather its wisdom.

More than simply following our own intuitive sense of right and wrong, some aspects of wisdom can be counter-intuitive. We don't follow traditions simply because they are traditions or because that's the way we want life to be. Instead, we test our view against the results it yields. Do we have less stress in our lives? Are we happier?

Little by little we glean wisdom from seeing things as they really are.

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