every five-bar gate my home

Ritual tonight in Second Life reminded me of the documentary series I was watching just beforehand, “Colonial House,” in which “settlers” have to make a plot of land yield something of worth, preferably maize, 1628-style.

I think of the Blessing of Prosperity, how if we all fill the cauldron with goodness then we shall all draw from it. I think of what seventeen people can do if they consider their land in common and their fortunes intertwined, instead of jealously guarding and bordering-off. Someone had the right of it, saying to just get all the corn planted and worry about who did what later. It matters that the corn is planted.

It matters that we contribute what we may, in order that all can prosper, and what we give we do receive. Why fear that the share will be unequal in the end? On some level, can it be possible that the one who fears the giving feels unworthy of receiving? Or has something been so broken in trust between that person and her community, that she expects never to receive when she gives?

I am naïve and hopeful: I will happily plant so we will all eat, shares apportioned according to need. I don’t need so very much. Do you? Where do you draw the line between need and want?

I once lamented, as only a melodramatic, precocious seven-year-old might do, that socioeconomic inequality kept me out of the fine houses in the next neighborhood over. Now when I think of large, beautiful palaces, I want to fill them with the ones I love. For what good are ornaments compared with creatures? Ornaments don’t curl up in the crook of your legs on a freezing night. Ornaments don’t need to shelter in your arms, and they cannot shelter you in turn. Ornaments only cook when you push the right buttons, and they don’t know how to season a dish just so. They certainly can’t enjoy it when the work is done.

Have what you need, though be mindful it is need and not greet that motivates you. Take with the intention of giving back, that faith is not broken between us. Remind yourself, when you receive, that you are worthy; remind yourself, when you give back, that we are all worthy.

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