Nature herself does not distinguish between what seed it receives. It grows whatever seed is planted; this is the way life works. Be mindful of the seeds you plant today, as they will become the crop you harvest.
Last night, I decided to put my tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers in. In garden-speak that means planting them in the ground. As I carried them to the bed, I noticed several tomato plants already taking shape–volunteers from last year. You see, at the end of harvest, I let many of my plants wither and fade into the bed to serve as compost for next season.
Clearly, some tomato seeds survived the weather and had sprouted into decent sized plants before I had noticed them. They stood their smiling at me, bright green and strong–their parents never knowing that they had created such a hardy plant. They had simply planted the seed that created a new generation to be nurtured by sun and rain, by compost and mulch, by my hand and God’s.
Last week, I received a graduation invitation for a child who had been in my first preschool classroom (we won’t even mention how old that makes me feel!). She and her family have long since moved to Florida, but through Facebook, they had reconnected with me a couple of years ago. Although we don’t actually chat much, I have had the opportunity to observe this young woman from a distance, marveling in all that she is growing into as a part of her generation.
When I look back at her first year of school as a timid three-year-old, I remember her sitting on my lap and looking at me with those tearful eyes begging me to reassure her that everything would be ok without mama. Sure enough, it was, and she blossomed into a four-year-old with a grounded sense of self, a compassionate soul, and a head full of knowledge. And now she graduates.
Sometimes, we are the seed planters. We may not get to nurture the plants or harvest the goods bestowed to us by a
garden, but, like a mature tomato, we get to take a piece of the best of us and share it with someone else so that it too may grow and be passed along.
I stood out by my garden bed this morning and looked at those tomato plants. I can’t tell you if they’ll be Cherry or Amish Paste, but they will be special because they carry on the heart and soul of those before them. And eventually, they will become seed planters too–creating a new generation of delicious fruit.