THE TAOIST FARMER

I’ve been thinking a lot about this guy, The Taoist Farmer, lately. He’s been a big help in seeing  recent events from a broader perspective than just the latest crisis.

This farmer had only one horse, and one day the horse ran away. The neighbors came to condole over his terrible loss. The farmer said, “What makes you think it is so terrible?”*

My computer wouldn’t turn on. In order to relieve the stress I felt about it, I began pulling the hair on my head and the weeds in my garden.

A month later, the horse came home–this time bringing with her two beautiful wild horses. The neighbors became excited at the farmer’s good fortune. Such lovely strong horses! The farmer said,

“What makes you think this is good fortune?”

When I finally got a working computer with everything transferred to it I found photos from 8 to 10 years ago that had been buried somewhere on the C Drive. I was happy!

The farmer’s son was thrown from one of the wild horses and broke his leg. All the neighbors were very distressed. Such bad luck! The farmer said, “What makes you think it is bad?”

My replacement computer came with Windows 8 operating system. I’d had Windows 7 on my old one. How the heck am I supposed to find what I’m looking for now?

A war came, and every able-bodied man was conscripted and sent into battle. Only the farmer’s son, because he had a broken leg, remained. The neighbors congratulated the farmer. “What makes you think this is good?” said the farmer.

Now I look out on a weed-free (almost) garden, and have been planting drought-tolerant succulents and grasses, something I thought I’d never get time to do.

*As told by Executive editor, Elise Hancock, in the Johns Hopkins Magazine, November 1993, page 2, in section entitled Editor’s Note.