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Patience in Planting

How Y'all?

Growing up in Mississippi, planting and harvesting were common topics, often framed within a religious context in our rural church community. This backdrop, deeply rooted in the African American farming tradition, gave rise to many lessons. I vividly remember the preacher's voice echoing through the humid Mississippi summer, declaring, "You reap what you sow."

Today, as I sow new seeds through the Second Line Arts Collective—hoping they will bear fruit in fundraising, concert presentations, and programming—I find myself continually reminded of the need for patience. Planting isn’t about watching the seed sprout immediately; it’s about trust. You plant the seed and believe that you and Mother Nature have given it all it needs to grow. Yet, often we expect our efforts to bloom overnight into a 100-year-old magnolia tree.

As SLAC turns eight, I reflect on our journey. Many of the seeds we've planted are still struggling to find their footing. Gregory reminded me today to slow down, to avoid burning out in the early stages of this long race. The truth is, I’m tired. I'm facing the challenge of acquiring new skills, yet my love for the work and the communities we serve is unwavering. The key, I’m learning, is to relax and let the garden unfold in its own time. Progress is there—marked by victories and defeats alike—and it's tough not to rush it.

I find myself writing this as much for myself as for anyone else: a magnolia, or anything of true value, takes time to return the effort put into its planting. It certainly takes longer than eight years.

I look forward to the day we reap what we are sowing.



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