We are nearing the end of summer, and the time of harvest is nearly upon is. And so maybe this is a good time to start thinking about some of the processes that make harvest and future renewal possible.
Preparing for winter means gathering the seeds we will sow next spring to start a new cycle. But what happens before that? Which processes take place within a plant to make it produce seeds? And what can we, as human beings learn from that?
To write this article, I connected to a few flowering plants, to ask them if they had some wisdom to share on this topic. Here is what one of them had to say
I am rose hip
At the core of my life cycle lies the desire to become something new. To gather experiences that may be my gift to the next generation.
I want to live on, but I have no desire to be immortal. I want to be free to choose which parts of myself I like well enough to survive, and which experience and knowledge has served me so well that I would like the next generation to be born with it.
For my relation to my children is different than yours. I have to give them all that I can before they are born, and then I have to let go. I have to trust their wisdom and resilience. I have to trust that they are my offspring and they are me. I rebirth myself when I give my life to my children. But in doing so, I grant my entire being to them, and I give them the freedom to grow their own selves from that basis. I am with them, but I do not impose my mistakes on them. At least that is what I hope.
I am not sure you and I are so different after all. We all love our children.
What does this mean for a plant that does not die? A tree who cannot make space for its children and has to hope that it will find a way for its children to travel to elsewhere. What is the meaning of creating wings for your children, or putting them at the center of a fruit in the hopes that a stranger will find a better home for them than they can provide themselves? What kind of letting go does that require?
And what does it mean for us? What parallels do their exist within our own life? How do we prepare to die and ensure that we will live on? How do we make ourselves into seeds?
And what ground will these seeds need to grow on? How can we give them the best possible chance to take root, to thrive and to become beautiful? How do we ensure they will find the allies and the love they will need to grow and thrive?
As you may realize, the seeds of a human being consist of far more than the eggs and seeds that allow them to conceive children of flesh and blood. We leave so many other seeds behind during our lifetime: every time we have a dream, we plant a seed. Every time we help someone with their dreams, we plant a seed of hope. We create a way for ourselves to live on through the love we share with the people in our lives.
So let us go back to the other side of the analogy. How do we create a world in which these seeds can thrive? A world where new ideas are given a chances, and are not immediately pushed aside for fear of the unknown, or because they would upset some peoples sense or illusion of security? What does need to be done so that people would open their hearts to each other, so that we can stop being afraid of asking and accepting help?
What would it be like to live in a world where everybody was actively caring not only about creating the brightest seed and being the most exuberantly shining tree, but also remember that that seed can only thrive if it is embedded into a bright future?
Maybe that is something to think about as we prepare to collect seed. To give them a place to grow. For if our seeds would no longer grow because we have created a world that is so infertile, then all of us lose.