It’s spring, so I’m thinking about planting seedlings. Nothing very exotic – spreading petunias for the pots on the veranda, colour undecided, and something colourful in the two long planting boxes that will also discourage roving rabbits and possums from visiting. Aside from a couple of seasonal re-plantings, that’s about all. Except maybe for fun, I’ll pot my hand-out Woollies seeds and watch them grow.
While the eucalypts in my little valley are a delight to the eye, the ground beneath my feet is rocky – literally – hence the pots. Spiritually speaking, it’s healthy to accept that the ground beneath one’s feet is the now, the place and time where we belong, where God is. But gardening-wise the ground beneath my feet doesn’t support growing anything much – except onion weed and a variety of imported weeds. So I combine these two concepts and tell myself that It’s OK if sometimes there’s not a lot of colour and growth in my life.
We plant seeds and they don’t always grow. I’ve always been a seed planter – you have to be if you are a teacher, or write spirituality, or are a parent. Parents do an awful lot of seed planting, all kinds of seeds. They implant Gospel values every time they insist that their children treat each other with respect. With the repetitive “Have you cleaned your teeth?” they instil hygiene practices that they hope will last a lifetime. Ecologically they encourage practices that plant seeds of hope for the world that their children will inherit.
It’s the seed parables that keep me going when my carefully chosen word-seeds float off into the space that is the internet, seeds that seemingly never finding ground, but occasionally do take root in fertile soil.
The sower went forth to sow.
and some seed fell on the wayside
Some fell amongst thistles
Some fell on stony soil
Some seed produced a fine harvest and some gradually withered in the hot sun.
It’s the Jesus’ seed stories that come to mind when I see hundreds of young people gathering for a climate change protest. Who planted these seeds – teachers, social media, parents? It doesn’t seem to have been politicians.
Those teenagers with their creatively worded banners are planting seeds in people like me, challenging me in ways that I find uncomfortable because I have been so complacent for so long. They wouldn’t see what they did as having anything to do with religion, but I see it as the Spirit of God, breathing life seeds into a world that needs to hear them.
In the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero:
I plant seeds that one day will grow.
I water seeds already planted.
I lay foundations that will need development.
I provide the yeast that produces effects far beyond my capabilities.
I am a prophet of a future not my own.
And as Jesus said, “And the sower went on sowing.“
Read more about spring : Spring mindfulness – Australian style