As the son of a (peasant) farmer, seeing my onions sprout up (wonderfully well) reminds me of my first family farming ritual. In our culture, every (male) child at the age of plus or minus 10, receives a small piece of land where he can cultivate whatever he desires. No one cares for the farm except the lad. He needs to first, clear the ground, then until it, before planting the crop of his choice.
But the most intriguing part of this family agricultural ritual is between the planting period and the germination time. At this period, he is allowed to take his own initiative. No wonder this is, in our culture, a time when the curiosity of a child can be determined.
Funny enough, no one tells the child that the farm is a test. And just like no one tells him either that the adults are secretly watching all his actions. All he knows is that he has reached an age to care for his farm. And he takes pride in having attained the age of taking up his official cultural responsibility. In his tender heart, he has become, first, like every other person in the village, capable of planting his crop; and secondly, the only person, apart from the head of the family, who has his farm.
Zetetic kids, also perform their self-imposed rituals by secretly visiting their farms every morning to see if the seedlings have sprouted. Some go to the extent of digging up the seeds to verify the ongoing changes. They wouldn’t want to miss any moment in the development of their newly entrusted farm. Sometimes, some dream of it during the nights that follow the planting.
It’s indeed a magical moment in our young life. And though many do not learn much from this ritual, keen kids understand they are called to, singlehandedly, care for their farm. It is also a crucial moment when they should choose the right crop to grow in the portion of the land temporarily attributed to them. This moment defines in a very significant way, how agriculturally inclined our lads could or could not be.