I got home from the festival feeling dry, dusty and ready for a decent feed. A solid stare into the fridge revealed – not much. Hmmmm. I swung the door closed with a sigh. It had been a long drive and I hadn’t felt like stopping at Woolies on the way home. I lifted the lid on one of my grocery containers – big plastic melomy (mouse) proof tubs, to reveal some tuna and a can of beans. Uh-huh. The beans won. I wandered over to the neighbour’s who had some veges for sale out the front and came home with a good sized pumpkin. With a couple of cloves of garlic and an onion I would be feasting like a king, or at least I wouldn’t be hungry anymore.
I sliced through the pumpkin’s tough skin and felt the tip of the knife pierce it’s soft centre. A crescent moon slice fell away revealing a core of moist seeds. They glistened in the soft afternoon light and slipped away from my fingers as I scooped them towards the compost. I paused for a moment, looking closer. One seed stuck to the palm of my hand, unwilling to follow its siblings into the tub of vegetable scraps destined for the garden. It clung there, a pale yellow disc coated in slippery orange flesh, steadfastedly refusing to be banished from my grasp. I smiled through my tiredness, “Do you have a message for me?” I asked. I listened……nothing. Well I wasn’t really expecting it to talk. I closed my eyes and turned my attention inwards, and there she was.
She was a figure from a healing which I had performed earlier in the week. She was angry, resentful and generally difficult to deal with. She had been creating a lot of resistance, a lot of “don’t want to”. Refusing to participate in life, she had folded her arms across her chest and turned her back, pretending not to listen. Her pain was palpable. It had taken some careful negotiating to get her onside. Eventually she had agreed it was time for change, time to move on and make room for something new to grow in the psyche. She left me with a parting gift pressed firmly into my palm. Her eyes met mine. “Remember,” she said,”one seed is enough.” I looked down at my hand still cupping one solitary pumpkin seed, looked up and she was gone.
I stood still for a while, considering her message. She was right of course. One tiny seed contains all the potential to create a vine, a plant or an enormous tree. So too one small idea can become a worldwide success or take our lives in totally new directions. We often talk about things we would like to do, changes we would like to make in our lives and then forget about it, going on with our busy lives unaware that our thoughts are planting seeds in the fertile ground of our psyches. Then when we suddenly lose our job or get kicked out of our apartment we complain about the unfairness of life, forgetting how we wished for a new opportunity, a new house, a change, a fresh start.
Some thoughts grow weeds, they take up valuable space and choke the life out of our beloved creations. Those thoughts go something like “It will never work”, “Its too hard”, “I don’t have the time/talent/energy/money/etc”. Other thoughts are like sprinkes of sunshine that spring up row upon row of daisies “What an ingenious idea!”, “I love learning new things”. And then there are those thoughts which are like magic beans, shooting up towering beanstalks that take us to the stars and beyond, “I wonder how I can do this better?”, “What else is possible?”, “Show me the way forward now”.
We often think that we need to have it all figured out, make sure that all our bases are covered, make sure that we have a backup plan. We are taught to be sensible, responsible, cautious. Valuable qualities indeed. But we often forget that nature knows how to grow. That seed needs sunlight, rich earth, water, yes, but it knows how to grow. All the information that it will ever need is contained within, and the same can be said for ourselves. We innately know how to grow, how to develop, blossom, age and eventually pass from this world. We don’t need a backup plan, we need to be ourselves, follow our instincts and we need one more essential thing. We need to trust the process of life.
We don’t make very good farmers if we dig up our seeds to check on them every day. We need to trust in the unseen growth that is happening beneath the surface. We need to know that change is happening even when we can’t see the visible results yet, and we need to allow things to grow in their own time. One of my beloved teachers who spent valuable time with Lakota people, used to talk about the healing that was known as “growing corn”. In the work of soul healing, soul growth, in the sacred work of life there is no instant fix. However if you plant a seed and add water, give a little attention, have a little patience, wondrous things can grow.
In the rich garden of your life, what seeds are you currently cultivating? In the dark fertile ground of your soul, what is growing silently beneath the surface?