One of my mother’s favorite authors was Pearl S. Buck. Though my mom only lived for the first two decades of my life she left me plenty of seeds to nurture.

Well before Mom died I read ‘The Good Earth’ by Buck, because she did. It has lived for years as a quiet, present part of my essence.

For her story spoke richly of the earth and its peoples.

Some forty years later I’ve picked up another one of her books – Dragon Seed. As it turns out it’s about the Japanese invasion of a small farming village in China. It is a brutal read in parts, but infused in elegance.

Ling Sao is matron in the story. She is currently housed in a safe house with other women and children to keep them from the atrocities of the invading foreign soldiers. For forty years she had not been away from her husband but now is on her second day away from him. All she had known was the rhythm of their farm.

“And many spoke to Ling Sao, for she had a kind round face and bright eyes, and her black hair was mixed with gray, and she was the sort to whom all spoke easily…From one and then another she heard such things as had never gone into her ears before…”

It’s phrases like those that cause me to pray Buck’s respect and compassion for life and people become my own dragon seeds.