The Courage Of A Seed

Water Lily Seed Head, © Joan Z. Rough

Water Lily Seed Head,
© Joan Z. Rough

“In nature, we are quietly offered countless models of how to give ourselves over to what appears dark and hopeless, but which ultimately is an awakening beyond our imagining.  All around us, everything small and buried surrenders to a process that none of the buried parts can see.  We call this process seeding and this innate surrender allows everything edible and fragrant to break ground into a life of light that we call Spring.  As a seed buried in earth can’t imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth, neither can a heart packed with hurt or a mind filmed over with despair imagine itself loved or at peace.  The courage of the seed is that, once cracking, it cracks all the way.  To move through the dark into blossom is the work of soul.”

Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways To Listen, Staying close to What Is Sacred

 Last Sunday, found me shuffling through a pile of books that I had started reading and put aside because something else called to take their place for the moment.

I had started reading Mark Nepo’s, Seven Thousand Ways To Listen, in early December.  Wanting to preserve the sweetness of the experience of reading Nepo’s words, I opened it daily, reading only a few pages or even just a few paragraphs at a time.  I would ponder what I had just read, savoring the wisdom, as I might a raspberry lozenge that I don’t want to dissolve on my tongue too quickly.

Obviously, it was slow going and in the midst of total chaos and my failed time management in February, I set it aside until things calmed down and I could once again tap into the richness of Nepo’s writing.

Sunday, I opened the book slowly to the page where I had left off, starving for a shot of spiritual wisdom. I sat in my reading chair, while a chorus of birds sang just outside my window, and read the words above.

It was like a homecoming … finding a long-lost relative who I haven’t seen in years.  I was awed by the words and found myself rereading them over and over, filling up the empty spaces in my heart that had been drained over the past month or two.

I am so ready to begin reading just a bit of this book again every day … without rushing, so that the words settle in my soul and I again carry within me the courage of a seed.

What are you reading?  Do you have a book that you cherish and read only a few sentences at a time?

This entry was posted in Books, Healing, Kindness, love, Matters of the Spirit, Mental Health, Navigating Through Life, Quotes, The Seasons, Wise Words and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to The Courage Of A Seed

  1. Ashana M says:

    Ah, I am so unlike you. I read quickly and voraciously, and often in shorter bits, so that I end up skipping whole chapters of books because it doesn’t interest me or is something I think I already know. I am not a savorer in so many ways in life: I eat quickly, like my food will disappear, and I read books like this is my last hour of vision. I read two books last week on trauma therapy: Unspeakable Truths and Happy Endings and Effective Treatments for PTSD. I have since been between books..

    • jzrart says:

      It would be a pretty boring world if all of us did everything the same way, wouldn’t it? Actually it’s only the more spiritual books that I read slowly. I’m dug into a couple of others right now along with “Seven Thousand Ways to Listen.” It is my dessert after the main meal ;-)!

  2. This is such an amazing image. I’m delighting in all the new shoots, though so are the bunnies and squirrels 😦 I haven’t read Nepo’s book, but it sounds enlightening.

    • jzrart says:

      Yes, I know about those bunnies and the squirrels. The squirrels here especially love green tomatoes.

      I love the book and hope you’ll find it inspiring.

  3. writebrainrd says:

    Good morning, Joan. I will have to buy Nepo’s book. Thanks for sharing.

  4. lori says:

    wonderful quote. 🙂

  5. warmginger says:

    I dip into poetry in the same way and I go to my favourite poems over and over again…
    At the moment I’m dipping into an anthology called ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY by David Sedaris, having just finished a quick and fun ghost story called DARK MATTER by Michelle Paver and THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND by Giles Foden (loved this!). It’s Spring Break here, so I’ve had plenty of lounging around time!

    • jzrart says:

      I also read poetry in the same way. It’s just too juicy and beautiful to never go back to it. Nepo’s book will be one I’ll keep on my “Very Important” book shelf.

      Sounds like great reading material you’ve got there. I wish I had more time to read. As a kid I lived inside the books I read constantly.

  6. marianbeaman says:

    I love this post and love your photography, all products of the Grand Designer. The water lily seed head is spectacular.

  7. jzrart says:

    Thank you, Marian. We are all just seeds reaching for grace and light.

  8. This is beautiful! I hope you have been able to continue your reading and your pondering on those lovely seeds of wisdom.

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