The Meaning of Life

By Pamela Denholm

I just finished a book by Catherine Goldhammer, who lives here  on the South Shore, titled ‘Still Life With Chickens’ (see, even my authors are local). I enjoyed the book very much, it was a quick, light, relatable read, and the perfect thing to pick up at this time of year. For me anyway.

The business climate during the last quarter was one of the most challenging I have experienced, ever. It felt like the elections consumed every airwave and soundwave, it was saturating to the point where we had no choice but to be submersed until the the tide receded allowing us all to breathe again. Speaking about it to a long-time farmer, he nodded sagely, confessing that in his 30 years of growing, election years were always his worst business years. So I was very happy to welcome 2017, not an election year.

It did make me think, however, about what a wonderful gift a New Year is. It is a clean slate. A reset button. An opportunity to open the door. And in the Northern Hemisphere, it coincides with the very beginning planning stages of the growing season. Another reset button. Farmers are amazingly resilient, optimistic creatures. Despite last years late frost, severe drought, winter moth infestation, seeds that failed to germinate, aphids that dined on Brussels sprouts, borers that attacked roots, farmers eagerly await seed catalogs and thumb through packets of saved seeds dreaming of possibility.

The very act of planting a seed, is one of hope.

On hope, Catherine Goldhammer writes, “…maybe that’s all there is. Maybe that’s what Yo-Yo Ma gives us, and Bach, and Puccini, and the faces of our children, our friends, our families, good work, the ocean, the moon rising over the pond, the havens of our homes.”

And seeds. And a new year.

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About Pamela

From the highveld of southern Africa to the low lying marshes of the South Shore, Pam has learned that regardless of what lies before you or behind you, if you have a seed to plant, the face of a child to gaze upon, or a rising moon, you have tomorrow.

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