The closing bell of summer is ringing. In my garden, it’s the season for harvesting seeds.First come the tender green shoots of late spring after hibernating all winter. Then the stalks grow aggressively. Next, the fronds branch out saluting the warm summer breezes stretching their fingertips of eager buds. Finally, brilliantly hued flowers burst open, nourishing the pollinators.

What’s the most fascinating to me is when the flower’s frilly, dressed up petals are at their finest. They morph overnight into seed pods or seed clusters. They might not be as flashy as their preceding beauty queens, but inside each brown, crusty seed pod is magic!

Now it’s my turn to interfere with the cycle. I keep a close eye on the drying pods and clusters, allowing some to fall and self-seed next summer. The others I snip off or run my clutching fingers over their dried crispness, gathering fistfuls to store in baskets, jars, and paper bags. Some I share with neighbors and friends, others I keep for myself to plant. I savor the anticipation of where the seeds will re-sprout next year as winds, rain, and birds sow them wherever nature pleases.

This cycle reminds me of a story Jesus told in Matthew 13: 3-9 about the farmer sowing his seeds. Some fell on rocky soil and didn’t get a chance to take hold. Some sprouted, but were choked up by weeds in an untended garden. And some fell on fertile ground to grow and produce.

Isn’t it that way with us? We do our best to scatter good intentions in our life’s garden, not knowing the outcomes. It might take many seasons for that one dormant seed to finally take root. On the other hand, the fruits of our seed scattering might produce immediate results.  

The lessons I learn from seeds give me hope for plentiful harvests in seasons to come whether I get to witness them sprouting or not.

Keep harvesting. Keep sharing. Keep sowing. Keep trusting.

Which seeds are you harvesting?

Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower.

Sigenori Kameoka

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