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Instruments of Reconciliation

Instruments of Reconciliation

Instruments of Reconciliation 2560 1920 Nicole

So most of you know I run most mornings, and it is nearly always on Paterson. And since I’ve been here a year now and seen the entire cycle of farming corn – and learned a great deal about it in that time – I’ve made a few observations:

Timing is everything. Certain corn seed work best when planted after a specific time following specific environmental and weather conditions.

The weather can help one crop flourish and decimate another.

And when you plant corn seed, you expect corn. When you plan soybean seed you expect soybean plants. So, when I run, fields on either side of me, and see pops of brilliant yellows and purest of cornflower blues adorning the edges, the beauty of it, well, it takes my breath away. Which isn’t great for running. So I take pictures!

I’m fairly confident that farmers do not plant these yellow and blue flowers in their fields. They just happen. They serve no other purpose than to embellish the fields. And they are necessary. Except that cornflowers are now endangered. Because of an over use of herbicides. Life happens and beauty is created. Until we are overzealous and sanitize, weed out – deracinate – more than the unproductive or harmful bits, and eradicate beauty . . . along with indicators that might alert us to danger – the herbicides and insecticides could be poisoning us, too.

I wonder if we do a similar thing with each other when remaining focused on one aspect of one thing – and overlook the beauty and the caution to consider the larger picture (stop and smell the cornflowers)

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About the author


Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (CO, MI).

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