Fables

Toronto, Canada

 There was this village, a farming village. It was not so big, not too small. Farmers there grew all sorts of crops: rice, wheat, maize, eggplant, lentils. And there was always plenty of food to go around. One day the rains did not come. Then another day, then a week. The farmers began to get worried. What will happen to our crops? When will it rain? The time came when they all decided to gather in the temple to consult with the priest. All but one of them.

One farmer remained at his farm, and just like he did every other day, he went out in the morning and tilled the soil. Another week past and the other farmers started to get desperate. They began offering sacrifices, they began attending  prayers, doing everything they could to bring back the rains. But the one farmer still did not join them. Every day he went out into the field and tilled the soil. Naturally, the other farmers became frustrated him. Why are you wasting your time? They thought. Can’t you see that there are no rains? You should be doing something more productive like joining us in trying to bring back the rains. But the farmer didn’t pay any attention. He woke up the next day, just like he always did, and went to till the soil. 

Then one day, as it was bound to happen, the rains came. For almost 4 days it rained without stop. But where the other neglected farms had become flooded, their lands stripped bare by the rushing water, the one farm, whose soil was ready, began to bear fruit. 

We share this fable from the Panchatantra because it embodies how we are trying to survive the current change in our lives. We are lucky enough to have an infant daughter who will insist that we wake up (early) every morning, ready to go. There is no luxury available to us, in the time and space to  lament about the past or focus and speculate on the path of the future; of counting down the days when the global pandemic will be over.

The most that occupies our mind on a daily basis is: what should we make for lunch, and what about dinner? Will bed time be at 7:00pm tonight? Does she need a diaper change?There is a wisdom in this, and for that, we are eternally grateful. Our daughter has been our blessing. She has been our rock. In the current uncertainties the most we can do to repay her is to help keep alive the wonder and adventure that exists so purely in all children. To try and protect it regardless of what we as a society are going through.It has not been easy, and some days are harder (sometimes much harder) than others. But what better ethic could we embody in these times than wake up every morning, and till the soil.

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