In The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein a tree and a boy become best friends. But as the boy grows his wants grow to. He is no longer happy to just be with the tree. The tree just wants the boy and so she keeps giving and keeps giving and keeps giving until she is nothing but a stump. The boy is now an old man and realizes finally that all he really wants to do is sit. The stump is perfect for that and so in the end the tree is once again happy, giving.
There have always been alot of cultural critics. All of them seem to have solutions. One feminist blogger I read recently was decrying a global “rape culture” and said that she felt that the solution was a culture based on relationships versus power. Sadly she missed the point. For relationships (good solid relationships that stand the test of time–think mother, father, etc.) are really all about giving. Mothers rarely think about what they are “getting” from their children. In romantic relationships there is more of a give and take but really what that means is both partners give and give fully.
Isn’t that same loving fully why we love dogs, because their world begins and ends in fully loving.
But sadly giving and serving are not popular. Honestly never have been. But that does not make it any less fulfilling.
I am beginning to realize that my role as a farmer does of course require some taking but hopefully so much more giving. Honestly the land doesn’t need me to be healthy as I learned in Back To Eden. But when we give in the way of planting, cultivating and harvesting the land gives us nourishment and I am reminded that my relationship with the land is another integral relationship that requires the same care, giving and serving.