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To Bloom You Must, First, Be a Seed

To Bloom You Must, First, Be a Seed

This is the season of seeding, so when this bit of inspiration was posted in the student forum, it wanted to be shared. I have been noodling on the beauty of the sentences, the concise placement of the words:

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.   ~ Cynthia Occelli

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression…

A seed is a gorgeous thing in and of itself, isn’t it? The hard outer shell can take a myriad of shapes, from the gentle curling of a calendula seed to the hard husk of a black walnut. Inside that exterior covering is a dense nutrient core. A seed is kind of like a spaceship: everything needed to survive in a hostile environment is contained within.

When a tree releases its seeds, it sends them far and wide.

A seed is a valiant thing, a strong thing. It’s a pioneer and ground-breaker. It is nurturance and protection.

Being a seed is a noble calling… but it is not the greatest expression—it is only the beginning of becoming. And to become…

…it must come completely undone.

“Undone” is a word I associate with romance novels, with the unraveling of the heart, with the breaking open of the spirit.

And this seed, this valiant wanderer, doesn’t need to unravel just a little. No. It must be Completely. Un. Done.

My heart rises in my throat and tears come to my eyes just writing these words. I have come completely undone and I’m guessing you have, too. And oh, my, how it aches because…

…the shell cracks.

It is a rending, a tearing, a sharp jagged edge. And it exposes what is soft, what is precious, what (the seed is sure) needs protecting.

But there is no protection when our

insides come out

this is the moment of pure exposure, when that little seed can perish or push through to the point where

everything changes.

And, here’s the thing, everything always changes.

Back when I was studying the Greek philosophers at the University of Michigan, I read this:

You can’t step in the same river twice.

Heraclitus said that (or something that has been translated that way, correctly or incorrectly) around 500 B.C.E. and I have pondered it as though it were a Taoist koan.

Here’s my take:

The river (which you can think of as time) keeps flowing and moving. So even if you walk down to your favorite watering hole, which you have visited for years, the water in it has changed. The plants and plankton have died and been replaced by the next generation of plants and plankton. The ground under your feet is made up different bits of rocks and dirt and, yes, seeds.

So even while it appears the same on the macro level, on the micro, everything has changed.

And once you accept this level of change, you realize it’s not just the river; it’s your kitchen and your office, it’s your lover and your best friend.

Change is constant.

So it’s not about changing or not changing, it’s about noticing or not noticing. It’s about choosing to engage the change and revel in it, or turn a blind eye.

And this is where understanding comes in:

To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.

To bloom you must, first, be a seed.

Hugs—