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A quote from "Fitting the Ground to Plant" by Joseph Bruchac, collected in Rooted in Rock: New Adirondack Writing, 1975-2000, edited by Jim Gould:

Thirty years after that day when my grandfather put the stone axhead in my hands, I understood at last why, as I held that stone, my mind had filled with images of tall corn swaying in the wind, images of women dancing as they held the season’s harvest in their hands. Hearing [my friend and teacher] Maurice Dennis tell the story of the coming of corn was the last stroke of the hoe that fit my own mind to the earth my grandfather had given to me. And I knew that as long as my hands had the strength to hold a hoe, I would work that garden where corn had been cared for by my grandparents and by my great grandparents before them. I would listen to that land just as it had once been listened to by other men and women, generations of Abenaki people and Mohawk people whose stories were told in a tongue as old as the soil. Spring would find me preparing the earth for the Corn Maiden, find me fitting the ground of my grandfather’s garden to plant.

I don't understand why the action of "hearing a story" was "the last stroke of the hoe"? And what's the hidden meaning of "the last stroke of the hoe"?

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The key to the meaning is in the words that follow:

Hearing Maurice Dennis tell the story of the coming of corn was the last stroke of the hoe that fit my own mind to the earth my grandfather had given to me.

Bruchac's grandfather has bequeathed him a plot of land, i.e., some "earth". In order to plant crops, that earth needs to be prepared. One prepares the earth for planting by hoeing, i.e., loosening the soil.

Bruchac moves very beautifully between the literal and the metaphoric here. He says that hearing Dennis's story prepared his mind for cultivating his grandfather's land in the way that hoeing prepares a plot of earth for cultivating corn.

Farming and gardening are deep metaphors for connections with nature, history, community, and one's own identity. We speak of our "roots", or of "planting a seed in someone's mind", or of an effort's being "fruitful". Dennis's story puts Bruchac in the frame of mind that allows him to see how the act of planting a garden reinforces his connection with community and history. He finally understands why holding a stone axhead gave him a vision of processes that continue throughout history, such as growing corn and participating in the harvest. He commits to working in the garden as his grandparents did, because Dennis's story has prepared his mind for that in the way that a hoe prepares the earth.

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