I take an early morning walk; it is already promising to be a hot day. But here by the St. Vrain river, it is still cool and juicy and green. The dog and I wander down the river trail and I begin to see seeds everywhere… Seeds dangle above me, below me, in front of me. Seeds on grass stalks, trees ripe with seed, every weed flowering and throwing off seeds in the wind. Every plant seems to be going to seed right before my eyes.
Seeds symbolize potential for me; each seed is a tiny, little pocket of possibility. From a biological perspective, seeds actually hold the blueprint for all of creation on planet earth. EVERY bit of life here starts with seed; seeds are the source of all the plants in the ocean and on land. And every animal on earth, including you and me, began from a tiny fertilized ovum seed.
After decades of gardening, I am still amazed each time I witness life forming from a seed; I plant tiny black seeds the size of pepper grains in my garden, and within weeks, tiny seedlings sprout and transform into big heads of yummy green lettuce. Nature orchestrates a miraculous transformation from seed potential to juicy plant reality in just a few short weeks.
“You couldn’t hardly believe there was life in them tiny things,
some no bigger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent,
if you hadn’t seen the miracle, could you?”
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams
One tiny plant seed, combined with a little water and sunlight, will grow into a cottonwood tree or a clump of grass. Or maybe even an entire meadow full of blooms. The creative possibilities from one seed are staggering. Every single little seed holds magical possibilities. And Mother Nature is obviously a gifted magician.
I walk by the river, spying seeds at every turn. It is as though nature is teasing and taunting me with the abundant possibilities of life. The sight of seeds dangling from every tree, bush and grass stalk is so outrageously over the top that I cannot help but smile at all this abundance. And it is just the message I need today; I’ve been working on a book for months, struggling to create a structure that will hold the ideas that want to burst forth onto paper. But this particular piece of writing is as slippery and elusive as an eel, slithering away each time I think I’ve finally got it pinned down.
I have been trying to grab this elusive book and hold it still so I can define it, but it defies all my efforts at solid definition. This particular book creation seems to thrive on chaos and confusion. And the final shape of this book is not remotely in sight yet. I find that I am a bit fearful of not having any sense of where this book and I are going to end up. Like most writers and artists, I love to pretend that I am in control of my creative process – even when I know in my heart that I’m not! When I am honest with myself, I admit that my husband’s view of my writing being some type of mysterious, organic secretion process is actually more accurate!
But here, on the river path this morning, I look around and see how Nature is absolutely pouring her creative juices into a future that can’t yet be seen. Mother Nature doesn’t sit and whine about not being able to predict the final shape of her creative efforts; she doesn’t refuse to proceed with seed production until the future is defined and absolutely known. Mother Nature just creates. And keeps creating. I believe she creates just for the sheer joy of creating.
I look around at all of Mother Nature’s creations and I remember that creativity is more about allowing than controlling. My attempts at control usually end up killing my creative flow. Creativity LOVES freedom and unconfined spaces. And my own writing moves into a magical space when I stop worrying about the final outcome, and just open up and allow the flow of ideas, the flow of words to come out in whatever form they choose to take today. The final product will take care of itself if I can relax and breathe, and just follow today’s flow. Relax and allow the words to flow without trying to clamp down and judge them or filter them or manipulate them.
I breathe in the sights and scents of Mother Nature’s creative abundance. I breathe and feel myself relax. Like every seed on my path today, this elusive book knows what it wants to become, even if it won’t reveal itself to me yet. My job is to allow it to flow out into the light of day and to water it with my loving attention.
I wonder if I can relax and enjoy watching this book shift and grow from week to week? Can I embrace this little shape-shifter instead of fighting its process? I wonder if I can learn to revel in all the possibilities that this seed of a book contains?
“It is a denial of the divinity within us
to doubt our potential and our possibilities.”