Monday, March 24, 2014

A Time To Plant

Spring is officially here.  It's time to brush off the last vestiges of winter and enjoy the warm sun on our faces.  If you are a gardener, it's time to prep your soil and clean up your tools.  Isn't gardening like achieving a goal?  You need to plan out your garden and then work your plan to harvest it's bounty (the goal).  It is a bit odd how many folks attempt to reach a goal without a ghost of a plan.  The Havamal, a book of wisdom from pre-Christian Europe, speaks to us on this subject and a multitude of others.  Let's take a look:  

Verse 116 -  I rede thee Loddfafnir / and hear thou my rede, *
                    Profit thou hast if thou hearest, 
                    Great thy gain if thou learnest; 
                    If o'er mountains or gulfs / thou fain wouldst go, 
                    Look well to thy food for the way.  

Verse 60 -   Of seasoned shingles / and strips of bark, *
                   For the thatch let one know his need, 
                   And how much of wood / he must have for a month, 
                   Or in half a year he will use.  

Do not be confused or blown away by the seemingly quaint references about food and wood.  When these verses were first spoken and later written, men had to plan to have enough food and firewood to make it through a winter.  Failure to plan resulted in death by either freezing, starvation, or both.  In those days, the goal was to survive winter and greet spring.  Your goal may not be as serious, but it still requires planning.  Once you have a plan, you must put it in motion by working your plan.  Yes, work.  A wiggle of the nose or chanting a verse or two is not a substitute for work (if anything, it is the absence thereof).  Without working your plan, your goal is nothing more than a wish.  Again, The Havamal:  

Verse 58 - He must early go forth / who fain the blood *
                 Or the goods of another would get; 
                 The wolf that lies idle / shall win little meat, 
                Or the sleeping man success (italics mine). 

Verse 59 - He must early go forth / whose workers are few, *
                 Himself his work to seek; 
                 Much remains undone / for the morning sleeper, 
                For the swift is wealth half won (italics mine).  

The instruction from the Havamal is that work gets the job done; you snooze, you lose.  Again, do not let the quaintness of the text fool you.  If you want to reach your goal(s), you must plan and then work your plan.   

* The Havamal, from The Poetic Edda, Henry Adams Bellows translation, copyright, 1936

                                              Copyright @2014 Terry Unger

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