Rabbitbrush Rambler: For everything a season…


A very wise fellow, Ben Sira, said it, while imparting deep words of wisdom about 2,100 years ago. His Book of Sirach, also called Ecclesiasticus, was one of the Wisdom books that gave advice that is still good today, and one of the best-known begins, “For everything a season.”

Ben Sira didn’t mention falling aspen and cottonwood leaves, but he did speak of a time to plant and a time to pluck. For his neighbors there was a time to sow barley and oats and another to harvest grain and the grapes and olives, while our Valley-ites have a season for planting potatoes and lettuce and a season for filling the Valley’s warehouses and carving pumpkins.

The season also caused me to learn where to find the foreign diacritical marks on my computer for a festival like Oktrübra Fest. I also learned that in Austria there is a Wiener Wiesen-fest with the slogan “Don’t Drink and Drive” in English.

There’s a time to a time to eat and drink and to labor, but life is not a cake walk. As Ben was saying, there also is a time to weep when death strikes, and we still have to think about all the “what ifs,” the events that just happen, often with no easy explanations.

When Ben Sira includes a time to kill and a time to heal, we had best be thinking about the hunting season and the healing of diseases and injuries, not about warfare and today’s violence and guns but about peace and good will.

And farther down in Ben Sera’s long list of advice, he also warned us to be more ready to listen than to utter foolish word. That advice should be engraved over every door in Washington, regardless of the race, creed, or color of its occupant.

For, even in Oktober, before the frigid külte and schnee descend, life is not all fun and games. Even now there are the fall housecleaning, the turning of mattresses, the washing of windows and curtains…

    … the taking of still-useable stuff to charitable organizations that know what to do with our cast-off stuff…

    …and for some of us who are getting really very old, we will be glad that we have adult children who actually want to take some of our the stuff away…

     …and then getting used to the empty spaces on some of the walls and floor space, and we’re glad to have more room on the shelves and in cupboards…

    …for Rainbow’s End that takes the rest, including my loom and all the weaving paraphernalia, and will sell it to help support La Puente…

    …but I’ll keep the computers I type on, typos and all, and the inevitable service calls to the magician who keeps the machines functioning…

    …for every day in every season when curiosity awakens and inspires me to keep on learning…and for the enthusiastic college professor who lit that fire and the perennial joy and excitement…

     …for the Valley’s schools, large and small…for students young and old…for teachers young and old…for the chance that a spark will alight in some of those gray masses of nerves and synapses and will start unquenchable fires of curiosity and discovery that will go on and on, with no interruptions of seasons stopping and starting, for years and years. Ben Sira got that part wrong.

Many things have great value without any season, and I am grateful for them.

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