tree in snowfall 
How should we plow a field?
If the land is flat,
plow in any direction,
but if the land rises and falls,
dips and curves,
plow along the contours
so the rain, after it falls,
soaks in and does not run off.
What if God's grace
falls on us like rain?
How should we plow our lives
so that grace soaks in,
reaching our roots?


Photo of something striped.
Photo and prayer 2015 by Danny N. Schweers

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Some Comments from Subscribers and the Author's Response:

Kerry wrote:
I was dying to know what is was! Wish you hadn't told me - poof - magic gone!

Bill wrote:
Good one! Both photo and poem. I like the way you put signature on the photo. It looks vaguely Chinese or Japanese. And what a wonderful image of plowing our lives. Thanks! Btw, my wife notes that it is extremely rare to find a completely flat piece of land. I suppose if there were one it would be analogous to a completely realized saintly being who has no need to cultivate his or her soul, as it is already maximally receptive. Or, if said flat land were a parking lot, to a thoroughly debased person who receives nothing no matter how hard the rain.


I love the way Bill and his wife take my flat field metaphor and run with it! Yes, the style of my signature and date are modeled on Japanese woodblock prints of the 19th century. Those prints often had writing on them, official seals, and boxes of text.

Sometimes, as Kerry notes, knowing the subject of an abstract photo takes away from its pleasure; that is, we stop seeing the abstract and only see the thing itself. I don’t have that problem with this image. I can see what it is AND see just the abstract pattern. Oddly, I see one or the other, the thing itself or the abstract pattern, but not both at the same time. My perception switches from one to the other. Funny how the mind works!

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