“Born for success he seemed, With grace to win, with heart to hold, With shining gifts that took all eyes.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
This afternoon, I observed an encounter between two birds that got me thinking about the seven gifts of the spirit and their practical application to daily living. The bird in the photo above, flew over to my tomato plant and started eating a tomato I had intentionally left on the vine for birds in my yard to enjoy. I photographed his delight in finding and feasting on fresh food. After a few shots, I put my camera away and turned my attention elsewhere. A short while later, another bird arrived, eager to enjoy the tomato too.
My little feasting friend looked at the second bird and would have none of it. “We won’t be sharing this today… go away!” He seemed to say. The second bird stood his ground and, as I watched the scene unfold, the first bird turned away from the tomato, probably had his fill, and went into attack mode. Soon they were fighting and chasing each other around the garden, screaming and shouting… the rest of the tomato long forgotten and uneaten. This is what my mom used to describe as being a dog in a manger … Greed. It made me shake my head in disbelief; it was a reminder that we all need to learn how to share wisely. We need the seven gifts of the spirit; wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder/awe of God and life…
Wisdom: Wisdom to know that sharing with others enriches us too.
Understanding: Understanding that a world where only a few feel entitled to life’s bounty is a world where we all end up losing even our meager share.
We need gifts that help us live peacefully and wisely in this world; the more the better. Above and below are seven adapted from those special seven that I believe we all need; especially during troubled times. What do you think?
“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” Anthony Robbins
We tried, for a few years, to grow tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables in our yard, but to no avail. Last year, we had the idea to grow tomatoes in a pot on our balcony. We nurtured, fertilized and watered our tomato plant and it grew into a magnificent little tree; with no fruit aboard. By the end of the summer season, we were disappointed but promised to try again. This year, I bought tomato plants that were already seeded with flowers and they have done well.
What we didn’t know last year is that the tomato plants needed to be pinched and fertilized at the appropriate time. What we needed was not a magnificent tree but a fruit bearing plant. This year has been successful with still some lessons to learn; pinch early and then find the courage to pinch some more.
“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.” Richard Bach
For a while now, I’ve been trying to get back on track with healthier eating. I became a vegetarian many years ago; I wasn’t much of a meat eater and enjoyed the way my body felt with eating differently. I don’t eat meat but I love desserts and, as we all know, too much of anything is… well, too much.
Knowledge: Knowledge that we are both what we think and what we eat; eating healthily is imperative.
Piety (Reverence): Reverence for our lives; mind, body and spirit, will help us make better life and food choices. This is not about dieting, simply about healthy eating.
Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe): Maintaining a spirit of awe and gratitude is fundamental to all we do… the truly happy know that when we keep our minds fresh and open to new experiences, with a beginners eyes, we will always see wonder around us.
This summer, gratefully, I’ve been making dishes like you see above; avocados, mangoes, plus adding tomatoes from my plants, and I love them… With a lot of effort and those seven gifts on our side, we can meet our daily duties with ease and grace. The seven gifts; wisdom, understanding, right judgment, courage, knowledge, reverence, and wonder/awe of God and our lives … are truly a wonderful foundation for living. What about you? What are your thoughts? Which of the seven gifts do you need most? What would you do differently? Do share! Thank you. 😉
Positive Motivation Tip: The seven gifts of the spirit are available to all of us; especially during troubled times.
- Tomatoes and Red Plastic Mulch (hortophile.wordpress.com)
- Maximizing and Extending Your Tomato Harvest, by Andrew A. (survivalblog.com)
- Ode to a tomato…well, almost. (breathelighter.wordpress.com)
- Buckets Full of Plants (cloudcuckoolander.wordpress.com)
- Garden Update: Tomatoes and Basil Galore (thebittenword.com)
- How do you sucker tomato plants (wiki.answers.com)
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.