Sunday, July 28, 2019

Use of Things that Seem Useless

"When the wind blows, leaves fall. When the leaves fall, the soil becomes fertile. When the soil is fertile, the fruit ripens—slowly, carefully." 
These words like a repeated mantra were heard by those watching the Japanese movie Life is Fruity. A professor at a Seoul university in an article in the Catholic Peace Weekly introduces us to the movie and its teaching. He recalls a Japanese word he heard over and over again during the movie and understood it as going slow, doing thinks meticulously, carefully.  

The movie was released in Korea in the winter of 2018 and received much love. It is a documentary of the life of an old couple living 65 years in a small house 40 years ago in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. They grew 50 kinds of fruits and 70 kinds of vegetables and lived at a slow-pace with the work of their hands.

Grandfather S was an architect and urban designer, who in his first assignments saw his ideas repudiated and work done in a completely different way from his vision. He gave up the architect's path. Instead, with his wife began to live the 'slow life' by raising plants with their own hands.

For 90 minutes the movie goes on leaving one with scenes that continue to remain with one. One such scene is the collecting of fallen leaves and putting them in burlap bags. It was the last action performed by grandfather S before retiring from the work of the day. After her husband's death, you would also see her collecting the leaves.
Why would they so religiously spend time gathering the leaves which to the professor seemed rather unimportant? To spread on the field is the reason. Leaves fall from the tree, rot and make the earth fertile. The core of farming is the land. The earth in order to give life for a long period of time needs to be fertile and leaves perform that task. 

The grandmother on one occasion planted some lettuce seeds in a plastic container. The first year the harvest was plentiful the second year she planted the seeds in the same container, nothing grew she learned a great lesson. Without a fertile earth, nothing will grow. Leaves which can be seen as useless are of great benefit to farming and of great use. Let's listen to her.

"I can not hand over money to the next generation, but if we leave them with good soil, anyone can have plentiful crops. You should give your grandchildren's generation good soil."

Not only are we talking about fallen leaves? Many happenings in life are not what they seem.

When I realized that my second child had a developmental disorder at the age of five, I thought the heavens would fall. I grumbled against God. I was late to know that my child, who had a little less than other children, had in other areas more, and saw the child as a very special gift, not a trial. Discovering the usefulness of what seems useless and reviving it, is a topic for this age. Let's discover with clear eyes the use of subjects that seem useless to many.

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