“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” ~ Abraham Lincoln
As we celebrate Labor Day and the ‘unofficial-last-day-of-summer’ it seems quite worthwhile to think about the work of life as described by President Lincoln. The first step in such work is to remove obstacles. Things are never as complicated as we thought after the underbrush is cleared away and the contour of the land is exposed. There are places good for growth and places where nothing much can take root. We are not using our time and energy very wisely when we hammer away at an area that is barren and dark. Backbreaking labor over the rocky ground will yield little or no future harvest. It is better to identify the fertile spots that reveal themselves, pull the weeds that might choke out our flowers and get busy planting.
Lincoln teaches us that our lives are much like the prairie he worked as a boy and young man. We have the best opportunity to flourish if we are willing to clear out the underbrush. All that is required is a deep appreciation of the great gift of life. The vision of a landscape planted and nurtured with attention to detail and recognition of fertile places mixed right along with rocky places can be magnificent to behold. We don’t have to force life to fit into our plan. It will usually reject those kinds of efforts anyway. When we concentrate on cooperation and the value of our interconnectedness with all things the result will be appreciated for generations to come. We will be remembered as people who left things better than we found them.
"Today I will celebrate the fruit of my labor and never cease working where there is a possibility of new growth."