seeds

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I awoke this morning, set my feet on the floor by the side of the bed and gazed out the window with refreshed eyes, eyes that have remembered that I am an integral member of a community of beings, indwelt by Love,  who are mutually tending me.  I felt that remembrance in my heart as a deep well of gratitude and connection.

Remembrance is such a good word. Indeed, it feels as if some precious part of me that has been long missing has been reattached, re-membered so to speak.  And yet, within this feeling of relief, I notice a sense of fragility, as if it might break if I don’t handle it with care, as if it is not quite reintegrated yet. Like waking the morning after any first lovemaking, my sense of vulnerability was sharp.

Along came the word for today, Seeds. My mind’s eye went to seedlings on the windowsill, having just emerged from the soil with their first set of leaves, not their ‘true’ leaves yet. How careful the balance of water and light and nutrients must be for these tender seedlings to make it to the garden one day, to offer up gifts of blossom or berry. I thought also of beds of seedlings, emerging in multitudes, in the forest or meadow where last season’s abundance let go. How few, if any, survive the grazers or tramplers, torrents or drought, competing for sunlight and soil.

I understand that this is the nature of life. So many seeds are created because so few survive … in testes and litters and seedbeds alike. Octillions of stars with ten thousand billion billion planets, but a relative small percentage have the potential to support life.

And I thought about this fragile new seed in the soil of my heart. Soil that has lain fallow for so long.

We drove past a freshly plowed plot this afternoon, the furrows in sweeping curves on the gently sloping land, readied to accept the seed. Is this how a heart is also prepared ? Softened at last by the thaw, cracked open, fertilized by the composted deaths of what was once green and abundant and flourishing, or what was consumed but not useful to the body?

This beauty has blossomed in me before. Familiar and welcome is this feeling of be-lovedness. Can it flourish again in me? Is it even desirable for it to do so, or is this the purview of the young and naïve? Maidens with wombs that run red?

You see how fragile it is? How I question and censure the knowing of my heart , in deference to my conditioned and protective brain? And so I must travel beneath those two, I suppose, into the dark silent realms of the soil, feed these roots.

I move slowly with my camera round my neck like a locket. It is late afternoon, my feet know the way up the hill, toward the meadow. Like the poet on her early morning meander, a notebook in her pocket, I pause often just to notice, in a way that I do not do when the camera is not with me. She offers me a lens to the world.

The mosHuses catch our eyes (mine and the camera’s). I had just learned how very prolific they are, surviving in the interstices where nothing else can, where the dominant species can’t. On rocks, of all things, they have survived longer than any other plant species on Earth.

And I decide that if these tiniest of beings can find a way to survive in such inhospitable conditions, where dominant voices prevail, that this tiniest of seeds in my heart can conquer my own self-censure too.

PS. I continued up the hill to the meadow. Below are some seedheads that delighted me there. This is the place I visited so often in the fall of 2014, when I wrote the post , Seed Coats. In revisiting it today, I am struck by the feeling of hardness I was reflecting on in that post, in noticing the hardening of the seedcoats.

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M.C. Reardon

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