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Autumn Rambles Day 7: Harvest

Day Seven – Harvest

When I (rev. Gail) was a child, we grew raspberry and blackberry in our back garden. They fascinated me. I would watch for the berries to form. I’d wait. And I’d rejoice when I see the first ripe berry. But, I never took the first ones. Janice MacLean of the Prayerbench says: “Never take the first plant you see. That is the first protocol of an honourable harvest.” Pause. Give thanks. Wait and make sure there is enough to take. Protect future harvests.

The “honourable harvest” is a set of principles or teachings about sharing and protecting the harvest. They aren’t written down. They are part of the Indigenous way of knowing.

Here is more guidance about a practice of honourable harvest.

Ask permission of the ones whose lives you seek. Abide by the answer. Never take the first. Never take the last. Harvest in a way that minimizes harm. Take only what you need and leave some for others. Use everything that you take. Take only that which is given to you. Share it, as the Earth has shared with you. Be grateful. Reciprocate the gift. ( from Yes Magazine)

It is a practice of awe and wonder to watch plants grow and berries ripen. It’s a way of learning our place in the care and respect of creation.

Reflect on one or more of these teachings as you Ramble. In return for all we receive, we promise to give something back. We can’t keep taking without replenishing. What gift of care-taking or gratitude or stewardship can you give?


Jesus used many examples of farm metaphors in his teachings. He encouraged us to reflect on how we are all connected to ach other, to creation, and to the Divine.

“Jesus said to his disciples: I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener… Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me. I am the vine, and you are the branches.” – John 15:1,4 &5 (CEV)

Spiritual Practice: Gratitude.

Take time today to start the day with gratitude.

Using the fingers of your hand, count off 5 things that you are thankful for. Say our loud a word of gratitude to God for each one.

Thou hast given so much to me, Give me one thing more – a grateful heart; Not thankful when it pleaseth me, As if Thy blessings had spare days; But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.

~ George Herbert

Remember, everyday is a day of Thanksgiving – not just once a year. As you reflect on that, listen to the words of this hymn from More Voices 185:

With thanks, Rev. Gail

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