The breaking dawn cracked the darkness and silenced the cold wind as warm light poured across the rich Mississippi soil. The farmer and the boy stood on the slight hill and watched the sun conquer the cold dark night. It was the morning miracle. And they had a front row seat.
“This is your patch of ground, son,” the farmer said to the boy. It’s not a big piece of land, but it’s yours to do with what you see fit. It’s rich, dark soil. You can allow it to lie fallow, growing weeds and not contributing to the world, or you farm it and raise a mighty crop. Take the time to plan it. Plant seeds. Work the land with your labor. Go to bed exhausted. Wake up early and work until you are exhausted yet again. Pray for rain. Fertilize and then reap an amazing crop. Use the gift you’ve been given.”
The boy watched the illuminated clouds skirt across the horizon and said, “What about droughts, weeds and insects?”
The farmer smiled, “Rich soil will grow mighty weeds as well as mighty crops. That’s why you have to take a hoe and work the land. And yes, there will be droughts and insects. Plan accordingly and always save a little in reserve. You’ve been given an amazing gift with this patch of land. Make the most of it. Use it to feed the masses to say thank you.”
The boy rolled up his sleeves, “Why is it I have a feeling you aren’t only talking about farming?”
The farmer smiled, patted the boy on his head, “You’re a smart kid. Your life is your patch of land. Your dreams are your seeds. Plant them and raise a mighty crop.”
The boy smiled as the sun broke the horizon. He and the farmer watched as the rich Mississippi farmland turned from black to green. And then they got to work.