Note: This is not the post I wrote earlier last week for today. Who knows, I might post that particular post sometime during the week. These are some of the words that began to percolate when my head hit my pillow last Friday night/early Saturday morning depending on how you look at the time after midnight. It seems audacious to write a pep talk when we are perhaps on the precipice of some very dark days in our history. It also feels hard as those of the Christian faith begin to mark Holy Week leading up to Easter. But my heart began to race as laid on my pillow and then rose to scribble some words in the dark before I returned to my covers.
A few posts ago, I mentioned my intention to plant nasturtiums along our fence line.
Later on, I realized I hadn’t explained the significance.
There are have been markers in my life, you could call them signposts in nature which have been instructive as well as given me hope, especially during times of trial.
Ladybugs have been one, dragonflies are another and of the flowering variety, nasturtiums.
Nasturtiums seeds are hard and wrinkly, I think they resemble little brains.
The seeds can be large or small, in various hues of brown. A seed packet might suggest nicking or sanding the seeds with a file or even soaking them in water for quicker germination. They can be planted in full sun or part shade. They grow best in poor soil, in fact, if heavily fertilized, the seeds will produce mainly leaves and few flowers. They can endure outside attacks as I can attest as one summer, an animal developed the habit of digging up the plants during the night. Each morning after plenty of sighing, I would pat the roots back into their patches of the earth. In spite of this harsh treatment, the plants flourished and continued to bloom into the winter. They are a species that welcomes neglect to bring forth beauty to the eye as well as a peppery taste to the tongue.
We come in all shapes and sizes, beliefs and ideals, hopes and dreams, burdens and concerns yet we are united by this time of crisis.
I don’t know what each one of you has already faced or will in the days and weeks to come.
What I do know is that each one of us is resilient.
We are resilient people.
We can be like the nasturtium seed.
We can thrive in the midst of the worst possible conditions.
We can let our only hardness be that we are not easily crushed by the weight of trials but continue to retain the softness of our hearts.
May this time of isolation refine us by sanding off our rough exteriors and exposing our empathy and generosity.
Burying a seed into the ground is an act of faith coupled with hope. It’s easy to feel buried behind our windows and doors and masks and gloves.
We can feel hidden and alone.
We lose track of days and wonder if anything is happening for the better.
It is the same when visiting a planted plot of land, there is a longing for signs and evidence of growth. It requires hope to believe there is movement when it can’t be witnessed by the eyes.
Sometimes the only visible signs are weeds. And just when growth is seen, creatures tread upon the earth desiring to tear at the fragile leaves or unearth and destroy the roots
You were made for this time, some days the sun will shine brightly and other days are full-on shady.
You can endure, no matter the weather.
Bury your seed, your life, as a hope, your offering in solidarity with the world.
Get cozy in your home soil.
Look to the right and the left and see the other seeds dug down deep beside you. Seeds are always meant to be spaced apart for maximum yield.
We are waiting in shielded sight together.
No matter what threatens your peace, keep clinging to the earth.
Keep assuming the position.
Let’s wait for the day together when our roots are made strong, reaching deeper than we believed and our blooms erupt in glorious color at the appointed time.
I am waiting and watching with you.