Perseverance
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I started thinking about the word perseverance this week when I saw the maple tree in our backyard.  Before putting out any leaves a maple tree first produces seeds, these seeds have tails on them which cause them to spin in the wind.  We called them, “whirly gigs” when we were kids.  Once ready, they leave the tree in the thousands when a breeze comes and they “fly” everywhere.  When they land it doesn’t take them long to spring up into tiny trees and yet they don’t all make it to maturity.  There are many reasons that none of them should make it to become a tree and still many do.  I don’t like giving personality to “things”, but the seeds must have perseverance to become a tree.

The same goes for most other plants including flowers, herbs, grasses, etc. they all produce an abundance of seeds to reproduce. When it comes to cultivating a garden we take it on ourselves to take the seeds and plant them so as to carefully produce food for ourselves and others.  I think that is the reason I enjoy gardening so much, because even though you can never be sure that something will grow, you have the satisfaction of hoping every time you water or weed around a plant that your care and perseverance will soon pay off and you can reap the benefits of your labor.

Everyday, anything that someone decides to do must have perseverance behind it in order to bring it to completion.  Yes, farming is a lot of work, and sometimes it may seem like a daunting task to try to “feed the world”, but when you think back on history and all that people accomplished 100, 200 years ago and how far we have come in inventions and systems, you realize that we have a pretty good chance of it if only everyone would do a little bit.  Even if you don’t farm you can be a wise consumer.  One of my favorite books of Joel’s is Holy Cows and Hog Heaven because it is so practical for so many people.  I highly recommend that you read this book if you would like to have a better understanding of the “food” world.

How about you, what do you like to do that requires perseverance on your part?

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About Erin Phelan

Born and raised in western Michigan, Erin came to Polyface first as an intern in the summer of 2009. While here she met and got to know Grady Phelan, an apprentice at the time. The next spring they were married and after a couple years in Oklahoma they are back, working as sub-contractors for Polyface. Erin keeps herself busy with the jobs of a wife and mother, as well as helping with the animals, gardening, sewing, cooking, baking, knitting and reading.
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8 Responses to Perseverance

  1. Right now what is requiring perseverance is our group’s efforts to get the zoning laws loosened up in Chesapeake, Virginia. The current zoning allows laying hens only in agricultural areas and in certain residential areas that contain lots of three acres or more. Those privileged enough to own that kind of property are allowed to have up to four hens as household pets.

    Four hens don’t need three acres! If you agree, please sign our petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/4chesapeakehens# and spread the word.

  2. Rachel says:

    Something I enjoy but does require perseverance…three meals a day for my family (husband and nine kids). Our oldest child is ten, and having that many little ones in the kitchen wanting to “help,” needing their math work checked, arguing over whose turn it is to hold the baby…it takes a great deal of perseverance to get the meal prepared and set on the table while remaining gracious with the children!

    But when we’re gathered around the table, the “fruits” of our labor being eagerly (and sometimes not-so-eagerly) devoured and the conversation(s) made more enjoyable by two-yr. old pronunciations…it’s so worth it!

  3. Everyday, I would study for around 30 minutes before my mind wanders off. Sometimes when i think about video gaming or other entertainment, i tend to lose so much concentration and eventually after 5 minutes of perseverance i go play computer … etc.

    Is there any helpful tips to help me study and concentrate longer?

    • Like any skill, it takes time to develop it. Unplugging the TV can do a world of good for developing that skill.

      I know this sounds lame but sleep, diet and exercise play a large part of it too. Get away from sugar.

      Finally, you could look into vision therapy. There may be some things your eyes do incorrectly while processing visual information that are physically taxing to your brain. Lots of people fall asleep while reading…a sign of a problem.

  4. Grace says:

    That’s a great perspective. I would add clarity and stamina. It seems I can accomplish goals with these in mind. Add a little “ease” to the recipe, and I’m sailing through the day. Your starts look healthy!

  5. I totally agree. Even if your intelligent you cannot succeed without perseverance. I will definitely check the book. I hope I can learn from it and persevere.

  6. I started thinking about perseverance when I finished processing the first 100 birds this weekend…1/3 of the way through. Ugh. Too many. I continued thinking about perseverance when I was trying to get them packaged and the goats got out. Then the cows got out. I stopped thinking about perseverance about 2 seconds after my head hit the pillow.

    All of this requires perseverance but I’m not forced to do any of it. Further, like a seedling, I may not make it to maturity.

  7. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much approximately this, like you wrote the e book in it or something. I feel that you can do with a few p.c. to pressure the message home a bit, however other than that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.