The tangle of the year

One of the primary reasons for Thanksgiving was always the celebration of the end of the harvest and the promise of new growth. Home gardens wilted in the first November rains and the apples and herbs succumbed out around the ides. The land runs from oregano and blanched green bean to tan and dust and brown and the foliages cover everything in preparation for snow.

Im no outdoorsman. Our little Brooklyn garden is a mess and were lazy about weeding and pruning and pulling things back. Around this time I grab the last of everything the last squash, the last peppers, the last herbs, and throw them into the Thanksgiving dinner. Im making pesto with the gone-to-seed basil, and the parsley, still green and hopeful, is going on as garnish.

Were manufacturers and doers and inventors and we enter periods of feast and days of famine. The last time I felt safe in my convictions was likely during the high levels of the 3D-printing fad. Here was a technology that could change the route we construct things at home, the route kids learned, the route manufacturing worked. It and solar and bitcoin and natural energy were the great hope of the second decade of the 21 st century. Theyre quiet now, the big promises never panning out as quickly as we had hoped.

But if you appear closely, you can see how they grow.

My children have three 3D printers at school and TinkerCAD is commonplace. People are still constructing new solar technologies, new fintech products, new electric vehicles. The shoots are there, waiting under the loam. Theyre coming.

As we enter a few years of uncertainty we have to look back on the years of certainty for guidance. Were we too sure of ourselves? Did we think we knew too much? Sure. But was the world ready for what we brought? Heck, the world just got used to get into some strangers Toyota Camry in Pittsburgh and riding to the airport. The world just got used to inviting strangers into their homes to remain for the weekend. The world just got used to the idea that the warming planet is a major problem to be solved and not a diversion. Were learning.

This is a tangled day, an interstitial hour . We are expecting great things, but we are just getting used to good things. The seeds we planted a decade ago are sprouting and the seeds we plant today will sprout in another decade. But we maintain growing and we keep planting and we keep moving.

A garden is a promise to the future. Its a promise that we will survive, that we will flourish. Imagine a barren waste where nothing can grow, a field locked in snowfall. And then imagine the promise of a garden, the promise of new life, considered through a frosted window. Its enough to bring tears to a pioneers eyes, as Im sure it did many times over the millennia. Its just enough to give us hope.

Soldier on, manufacturers. Soldier on, programmers. What you do today defines the future. What grows now dies and comes back endlessly, a tangle that feeds, trains and betters the world .

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