Our Grange heritage and what we often refer to as the “work” of our order serves as a constant reminder of the importance and joy found in agriculture. “Since God placed man on the earth, agriculture has existed. There is no occupation that precedes it, no order or association that can rank with the tillers of the soil…”
Earlier this week I happened on a poem that seemed to affirm the connection between mankind and the earth–a poem that offered an interesting perspective as we approach a day of remembrance.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Mary Frye – 1932
Perhaps as we take a moment this weekend to remember those who gave so much, we might consider how we all remain so connected–to each other and to the earth. It’s a thought that does not diminish the sacrifice many have made; it is a thought that honors that sacrifice. “There is nothing that blooms with such unfading colors, there is no perfume on earth fraught with such fragrance, as the flowers of good works…”
How appropriate it is that a day of memorial takes place in the spring when we think about rebirth and life. (One theory is that May was chosen because flowers are in bloom in all parts of the country.) It is a day to display the flag of our country. It is a time to purchase a poppy… to shake hands old and young of those who are willing to defend that which we cherish. While we may shed a tear we might also feel a “swift uplifting rush”–that sense that in spite of losses and the many difficulties we face, we can smell the fragrance from the flowers of good works. The good work of some required the ultimate sacrifice, but we all contribute and we each share the world that is ours.