Some plants can be a pain to propagate. They’re finicky about where they grow, need particular pollinators, they don’t make a lot of viable seed,.. The list goes on and on of reasons it is hard to get some plants to grow from seed. Other plants have no problem at all, in fact they seem eager to set and scatter new seed. Gardeners warn each other of these kind of plants, They may be beautiful and easy to care for but they “self-seed freely” as the guides usually say.
They can start from a few plants in one corner of the garden but if you don’t watch them, they will soon take over the whole place. You’ll find flowers growing up through cracks in the pavement, running riot through the grass, and turning even the most well ordered garden plot into a mass of whatever this new flower is. They are easy to establish and spread, but they can become a nuisance so, as I said, we warn each other. “Watch out for that one, it self-seeds.”
This does not however mean that we do not use them, one of my favorite old time flowers is Nigella damascena also called “love in the mist” for it’s feathery leaves and beautiful, profuse flowers. But Nigella is also a special case, because it doesn’t just self-seed feely, it does so wantonly (as one guide put it so memorably).
A handful of Nigella seeds can become a whole flower bed full in very little time. In fact, if the climate is kind, this annual can actually go through two life cycles each year, going from seed to flower to seed pod twice in the same time “normal” and “decent” flowers bloom just once.
But it is beautiful enough and easy to weed out of your flower beds so keeping it in line is not a major effort. It does however illustrate the power in the seed
I have mentioned this before but it bears repeating. The life and power in us is very like what is in a seed. This is because a seed has within itself all the power, all the energy, it needs to grow and thrive. Get a hand lens and a peanut and you’ll see what I mean. Pop the peanut open and look at that little bumpy bit in the middle with the lens. You’ll see proto-leaves at one end and a point at the other. This is the heart of the plant, coiled with energy and waiting to grow.
The life in us is at times harder to see, especially when we are tired and overwhelmed with living. Life is made up of a myriad of choices and those choices are not always clear or easy. In fact, they are often everything but clear and easy.
Faced with the complexity we may well be tempted to curl up and hide, to look at all we face and say “the journey is too much” for us (but note, we have a rather famous bible story about someone who said just that). As the angel showed Elijah, so Jesus told his parables. The seed of life in us is indeed the power that wells up in us to eternal life.
That’s why, even though the seed of life in us seems small, even though the touch of Christ in our hearts feels faint, that seed has the power and it will grow if given the slightest chance. Christians understand that we have the seed of God’s life in us through baptism, and that from the seed grows a mighty oak of grace and life.
Therefore, faced with the challenge of growing and in need of the confidence to become as tall and strong as we can in the face of the junk we have inherited from the world around, you have the Seed of Life in you and it is all the power you need.