Over the last month I have developed the habit of walking around the People’s Park in Grimsby every morning. This morning I was struck by the abundance of nature as I walked though the streets and the park. Everywhere I looked I could see fruit or nuts ripening. Rowan trees were full of sprays of red fruit, the pavement was covered at one point by beech mast, and under every horse chestnut tree I could see conkers that had fallen in the night and had not yet been collected by children on their way to school.

The end purpose of all this wonderful natural harvest is more trees and shrubs – the oak that grows from a tiny acorn, the apple tree from a discarded apple core. Yet only a tiny percentage of the different fruits and nuts will achieve that end goal; the majority will be eaten by birds and animals, allowing these to flourish through the autumn and winter months.

As humans we sometimes define ourselves by the goals that we set ourselves. If we achieve them we feel a sense of success and satisfaction; if we don’t reach that goal we can sometimes feel a sense of failure and worthlessness. That can sometimes make us afraid to set big and challenging goals, avoid trying out new things, afraid to make relationships with others, or to dream new visions. We keep a tight hold on the things that we have in case by reaching out for something bigger and better we lose everything.

Maybe we need to recognise that how we make the journey towards the goals that we set ourselves is the important thing, not whether we achieve them or not. If our journey through life is done well we will learn about love, patience, determination and generosity to our fellow travellers. If done badly, determined to achieve our human goals at all costs we can damage those around us as we only look out for our own interests. I wonder if we can be like the trees and shrubs; scattering goodness without restraint and without worrying about what will happen in the future. Can we smile at every person that we meet; can we offer kind words to strangers, can we be generous with our time where help is needed? Not because these things will make us better people, or gain us a reward in the future, but because when we do we will feed others, support and encourage them. And who knows, perhaps just one or two of those seeds of kindness that we offer to others may take root in them, and grow to produce a harvest in their lives, that in its turn will encourage and support others.

Every blessing, Jade