Seeds

Dear Friends,

My favorite banner-of-the-week is “They tried to bury us. They didn’t realize we were seeds!” Although I assume this slogan could be used by a whole range of us within the 99%, I take it as a cry of resistance and a voice of hope and commitment to work for nonviolent change.

The gardeners among us certainly have seeds on our minds these days. It is a kind of pre-spring rush to stand in front of the seed displays with all the colorful packets of carrots, radishes, green beans, squash, and tomatoes. We can almost feel the summer sun and taste that first radish or snow pea. And so we go home and plant those tiny tomato seeds of hope in their little containers, put them on our window sill, and watch the tomato world miraculously recreated before our eyes. (If you’ve never done this, it is highly recommended, especially this year!)

Seeds are made up of three parts: a protective seed coat, an endosperm containing the nutrients needed to support the third part of the seed, the embryo, that holds the miniature form of the plant-to-be as it sprouts to life. In some ways a seed is a microcosm, a metaphor, for the cycle of all life - including our cultural, environmental and political life. Each seed has the latent power of affirming, nurturing, and renewing the plant it was destined to become. Right now many of us are like seeds struggling in both a confused and exhausted environment of poor and dry soil but also within the possibility of creating and claiming a new fertile ground where we can be fed with a growing “endosperm" of community solidarity.

I sense that we are becoming less occupied with understanding and reacting to the impact of the Trump administration's initiatives (as much as we need to do so) and beginning to look at how we might improve our own relationships with neighbors, our local communities and governments. We are beginning to realize how important it is that we go inward to see what our imaginations and spirit might create anew, how we might better understand the folks who feel so left out of the economy and are so susceptible to being fearful and discouraged. How can we encourage greater civility which can, in turn, encourage us to listen better to one another, which may then lead to the trust and cooperative spirit that will help us address many of the current problems?  

And in the meantime, returning to the seed metaphor, we need to fertilize our new sprouts with songs of liberation, with joy and laughter, with nonviolence training, courageous leadership, and acts of determined resistance and coherent, trusted solidarity (like the tribes and their supporters at Standing Rock!) as we create a more sustainable culture for all of us to grow within. And, finally, we all need to be nurtured deeply by the sun and quiet moonlit nights of a sacred love of life as we ponder our interdependency with all the forms that sustain us in wondrous complexity.

We live in a truly axial, dangerous, and yet exciting time. Profound change, one way or another, is inevitable. Our seed pods of culture and choice both protect and limit us, and right now we are experiencing the breaking forth of new economic and sustainable patterns in the life the planet. But we can’t know how well they will be sustained and nurtured. The hope, of course, is that humanity will courageously, against the odds, work with this bursting forth to claim our intended destiny of an earth restored and sustained, where we can flourish and bear the fruits of peace and justice we were intended to produce.

Peace,
Tom

Finally I am offering this inspiring three minute video from Denmark that is an affirmation of our basic humanity in spite of all that may seem to divide us. Enjoy!