We all, in some way or another, seek some sort of purpose in life. Some find it in the work they do, others find it in the people they surround themselves with, and still others shine the light inward and try to find meaning down in their heart of hearts.
But for me, I’ve only ever been able to find meaning in the harvest.
Another way to put this, is that I’m outcome-oriented to an extreme degree. When I see useful things come about, I rejoice no matter how great or how little effort were put into producing them… no matter who was involved in producing them… no matter whether the journey was pleasant, painful, or prosaic.
This is a blessing and a curse. On the positive side, it means I have a high degree of tolerance for the messy, difficult aspects of life–both in my own life and in what others share with me. But on the negative side, I can’t relate to people who let their own struggles (or worse, the struggles of others) become a focal point in life.
So in my view, toil is a natural state of being and the reason why we accept it is because we know that it’s the movement of our hands in the dirt which sets up the conditions for future harvests. And disappointment and failure are also natural states of being, because we can only control the effort we put in and the knowledge/skills we bring to the field, not the end results of that process.
I make it sound as if this is somehow an unemotional state of mind. It’s quite the opposite; my inner narrative is a maelstrom. But so long as some of the seeds I plant each day eventually grow into harvestable crops, my sense of purpose remains intact.