Most children beg their parents for toys or candy, but as a child, I was completely obsessed with packets of seeds. I would stand by the towering racks in the grocery store, looking up at all of the small packages with beautiful pictures of delicious potential, simply amazed by all the possibility. Could there really be a watermelon in that tiny packet? I was fascinated with the idea that an entire plant could come out of a small seed. On rare occasions my mother would give in and buy me a pack or two.
“All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.” Native American Proverb
I had no idea how to properly plant a seed so I would sprinkle them all around our suburban yard. I put them in the grass, along the fence, and even in between the cracks of the sidewalk. Then I would go out each day and wait for signs of a plant to appear. Sometimes they did, but then my father would cut them down accidentally while he was mowing the lawn. I don’t really remember ever being very successful but that never discouraged me. One time I did manage to get some zinnia seeds growing into small plants and when they bloomed, it was the best thing I had ever seen. There were precious few blossoms now and again, but I found them more enticing than a fanciful stack of unopened birthday gifts. Everyday I knelt on the ground to admire their individual colors. Each vibrant petal sang a song that filled my heart with joy.
In my imaginary world I was a huge success. I actually believed that I had a farm. I even went so far as to convince my parents to allow me to keep a chicken for a pet. I also persuaded my father to build a tiny pond out of concrete so that I could cultivate some water plants and a few tadpoles. At the height of my fanciful game, I adopted an invisible friend. His name was Who-Choo, and he was such a entertaining character that often my real friends would join in and play along with him. We had a special song that we sang as we marched around my farm with him leading the way. The surprising part about Who-Choo was that he was only twelve inches tall, and he was an invisible cow.
“There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our heart must be very quiet to hear it.” Minnie Aumonier
Gardeners are fundamentally optimistic about the future. I have never met a gardener who planted a seed and then said, “That probably won’t grow.” In fact, gardeners often error in favor of unrealistic dreams of success. We expect bushels of tomatoes as we ease a tiny seedling into the soil. Gardeners imagine armloads of flowers and legions of butterflies as we sow our zinnia seeds. We know the slender sapling of an oak tree that now needs to be propped up with a post will one day be strong enough to support our back as we rest under its canopy of shade. Gardeners know how to use their imagination and envision all the good that can come from small beginnings.
Always remember, goodness grows,