I am filled with gratitude for the long and beautiful life I lived under the sky, rooted to the Earth in this place.
I remember the first burst of life within me. I felt the swelling of my tiny fluff encased seed, resting in the mud, taking on moisture and warmth many decades ago.
My embryonic roots slowly unrolling as has been the pattern for all those who came before me for the entire history of this Earth. My roots obeying the ancient call to life, pushing my seed open, surprisingly strong, beginning to grasp the soil to reach downward as if pulled by a magnetic force, to draw in nourishment, and sustain my life, to hold me here.
Now my tightly folded seed leaves, pale from their time in the dark enclosed seed space soak in the first particle of sunlight through the crack in the seed casing. They reach out as though starved for light and unfold and harden and reach upward and multiply under the sun’s life giving love, with nourishment and moisture from my roots.
This is how my life began, dear ones. The ancient will to live and survive and thrive on this planet was encoded in my seed as it is in all living beings – those that move freely about and those rooted to the Earth.
What love, what gratitude I feel for the magnificent web that connect us all in the never ending dance of life on this planet.
Now the grasses and wildflowers, brown and gray after the first hard frost, heavy with seed, begin their long sleep under winter’s blanket. Another year’s growth now dying back, dropping seed onto my dark and ancient soil.
Growing like a riot in the hot and sunny seasons, reaching to the sun, rooting into the earth. Dancing the ancient dance of life on this planet!
Remembering summer, not long past, as our magnificent tall and slender grasses waved in the wind, soaked in the strong sunlight of the endless summer days.
Remembering the exquisite opalescent skies at dusk.
Remembering our roots reaching deep into the earth to anchor us and draw in nourishment. Remembering our huge network of interwoven roots holding the soil as the storms blew through the rains washed over and pounded our grasses almost flat.
Our deep roots giving grasses taller than a man stability on their slender stems, the strength and resilience to flex and sway with the constant summer breezes, the great masses of big bluestem undulating like waves on the sea, in constant motion.
Here is abundant life in summer! Any bit of open soil claimed by another fallen seed. This beautiful land, a variegated community, a web of growth.
I am home to furbearers, insects of all descriptions, frogs, turtles, snakes, songbirds, birds of prey. Our summer prairie teems with life, teems with promise.
Now in late fall a time of rest as the sun turns its face to the south, draining warmth from the land. Now we fold our tents, burrow deep, send life down into our roots, slow our breathing and hearts to sleep awhile, out of the freezing cold.
Our summer has been a riot of color, growth, raucous birdsong, feeding butterflies, burrowing mice, dancing green grasses, blooming wildflowers.
And now it is our season to rest and renew ourselves for next year’s gathering, our exuberant celebration of life under the huge dome of sky and light that gives us life.
Dear ones, all of my kind bless the earth with our confetti of cotton, our gentle shower of seeds, our annual pouring forth of faith in what is yet to come. You may think the deep drifts of tiny cotton puffs along the sidewalks and streets are overkill, too much- spam if you will. (Have you seen what the silver maples did last month? Later the oaks will pelt you soundly with bushels of acorns that fall like hailstones.) But I digress.
Life is sacred and must be honored. My seeds, perhaps millions of them are each a chance at fresh new life. They are sown on the wind with trust in the process of life! Most will end up fertilizing your yard or garden, or will be washed into the creek, but some will find the right place. All factors will line up: the moon phase, the soil type, sunlight, rainfall, slope of the land, shelter from drying winds…
The lucky winners will feel the stirrings deep within, then send down tiny roots and reach sunward with bright little seed leaves. The luckiest among this select group will grow tall, avoid the mover’s blade, the hungry grazing animal, the drought or devastating flood, the gardener intent on weeding alien seedlings that appear in her flower bed, the crushing earth mover, the wayward boot or bike tire…
Several of my offspring are sure to put down roots, to grow and flourish and eventually tower gracefully above the other trees and provide a home for the diverse creatures of the creek fringe. They will take their place in the timeless cycle of life on this our beautiful green earth.
Do not curse my fluff, for it is the fluff of life!
‘Tis the season for the seeds of silver maple to whirl in great masses to the earth. Each seed contains the promise of countless groves. It has been so since time began.
Silver maple helicopter seeds
The seed swells, and tiny roots begin reaching down into the soil, pulled by the magnetic core of the earth, reaching, finding sustenance. The new shiny leaves and slender stem bend toward the sun, unrolling, soaking in life giving light. Reaching for life, stretching both down and up, rooting and reaching. Each seed a promise, the imprint of a million generations.
You plant seeds as well. Your words and actions are seeds. Your caring or turning away are seeds, your belief in the power of good or the existence of evil are seeds, your judgment or acceptance are seeds, your love or indifference are seeds and surely many of the them will grow.
What legacy do you wish to sow? Do you want the seedlings of doubt and despair growing in the hearts and minds of your family, or the legacy of love and joy and fun?
Plant your garden with each thought, word, and action. What will you sow?