All week when people have asked me how I am, I’ve responded, “I feel like I’m in the fertile soil, in the dark, waiting to sprout.” Small things are happening in my life and I’m doing my best to honor the power of change in increments, like I wrote about last week. But it’s tough to be here, in the waiting. It reminds me of a piece by Mark Nepo called “The Courage of the Seed.” He writes:
“All the buried seeds crack open in the dark,
the instant they surrender to a process they can’t see.
What a powerful lesson is the beginning of spring.
All around us, everything small and buried surrenders to a process that none of the buried parts can see.
And this innate surrender allows everything edible and fragrant to break ground into a life we call spring.
In nature, we are quietly given countless models of how to give ourselves over to what appears dark and hopeless, but which is ultimately an awakening beyond all imagining.
As a seed buried in the earth cannot imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth, neither can a heart packed with hurt imagine itself loved or at peace. The courage of the seed is that once cracking, it cracks all the way.”
I wouldn’t say I’m a seed that’s cracked all the way. In fact, I’m not even sure I’ve started cracking, but I can say I identify with a seed buried in earth. I don’t know what the heck is happening in my life. I feel muddled, confused. I’m not sure what to do, how to act. I could spend the rest of this blogpost using synonyms for “opaque” and they’d all apply. However, one thing I do know is I’m surrendering to a process I cannot see.
I’m clear there is a process and I have a higher power that’s guiding me, providing for me, taking care of me. I know that just because things are fuzzy doesn’t mean they’re stagnant. My sponsor says something to me a lot because, well, it’s usually appropriate for my life. It’s something to the effect of, “God moves slow but He’s always on time. And when it’s time He moves fast so be ready.” That’s my life in a nutshell. Slow, slow, slow, BAM. Full speed ahead! Go, go, go! It’s easier for me to be in the “go, go, go” phase rather than the “slow, slow, slow” phase but they’re both a part of life. After all, just look at a seed. Or something even closer: a heartbeat.
A heart acts like a pump, suctioning blood and then pushing it out. There is a steady rhythm of movement then pause then movement then pause. My spiritual teacher says, “And this pulsation, that is movement through speed and pause, is an essential factor for each and every animate or inanimate object. Wherever there is existential factor there must be this pulsation. An entity acquires strength and stamina during the pause phase, and emanates vibration during the speed period. There cannot however, be any absolute speed or absolute pause in the created world.”
So this is me, in another pause phase. In another “seed buried in the soil” phase, just waiting to sprout. And I will, eventually.
I dream of a world where we remember the essential nature of life, the heartbeat thrumming through us all that reminds us to pause, then act, then pause. A world where we realize we can’t have all speed or all pause. A world where we take comfort in the fertile soil of our lives knowing at some point we’ll sprout.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.