I remember the moment that I became fascinated with seeds. It was one bright morning in my grandmother’s kitchen when I was 6 years old. My grand-aunt (my grandmother’s sister) who was visiting from Australia was browsing through gran’s collection of spices when she discovered a bottle of seeds (I think they were coriander, although I can’t remember for sure) in the spice rack. In her unassuming wisdom she decided to introduce me to the joys of planting herbs from seed.
We went outside, filled a small container with dark loamy soil and then planted and watered the seeds. We checked on them in the mornings to see if there was any progress. For the first three days, the soil was still. There were no signs of life. Then, on the fourth day, tiny little leaves had pierced their way through the sand. It was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen at the time.
Throughout that school holiday, I tended to them, returning each day to water and watch them. I concluded then that plants don’t grow when you’re watching. I was spellbound by how much transpired when I wasn’t looking. It seemed like the magic only happened at night when the stars were high and dark air rested on the soil. I remember my grandfather trying to explain something about the intelligence inside the seed telling it to grow – an essence within it that held all the knowledge of who it was and what it was supposed to do. Too young to fully understand, his words went completely over my head. But with time, the more I grew things, the more I understood what he meant.
Four weeks later, when my holiday was over and I’d returned home to my parents at the coast, the magic of seeds was forever in my heart. Looking back, it explains a lot about the way I am:
Like why I always tried to grow things when I was young: A little pot on my bedroom window sill. A planter box on the veranda. A few scattered seeds in a flower bed. My dad often made me weed the garden as punishment. I hated it so much. However, planting seeds and coaxing them out of the earth and into life was something so precious.
And also why I’ve always carried some seeds with me to plant wherever I went or to offer as gifts to people. At the end of our final year at university when my then boyfriend (now husband) took me to Zimbabwe to meet his family, I took basil seeds for his mother. We planted them in the garden where they flourished beautifully. Sometimes I feel that they were symbolic of the incredible relationship that I’ve cultivated with my mother-in-law from that moment onwards.
And why when I graduated from university and moved from a small country town to the city in search of work, I basically brought two things with me – my clothes and a pack of mixed herb and edible flower seeds. I claimed a patch in my aunt’s neglected garden and for the year that I lived with her, I nurtured that piece of earth and the wonderful things that I grew from it.
So in a way, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when a simple question came my way a week or two ago – “What happens to the dreams that you let die?” – it immediately sparked a story. A very short story about a seed woman who lost her dreams in the snow and finds her way back to them.
Naturally, I treasure this story just as much as I do seeds. And because I believe that stories are created to be shared, I’ve decided to share this rough piece with you in tomorrow’s blog post. I have no real expectations other than to share the things in my heart and little bits of inspiration.
Until then, thank you for your presence here and have a blessed and beautiful day.