Seeds have been on my mind for a couple of days.
You know how a single maize seed planted and waters brings many cobs on the stalk and many more seeds? That is what I was thinking about. One small thing lets go of its life and brings forth many more lives and feeds even more. Is that all? Not by a long shot; if you have read my writing for a while you know there are always multiple perspectives. If you are new here, welcome aboard!
I remember many years ago, standing by the grave of my grandmother (Susu), a little, big woman, wondering if this was the end. She was little, only four feet eleven inches tall, but big in her inner strength and ability to raise nine children, run a fifteen-acre farm, support her family and love on others. I remember her purposeful steps, occasionally twinkling eyes, a beautiful smile, her laugh, her steely eyes, her strength of character and her tenacity. Could that really be the end of her? I surely hope not.
It took a while to deal with her death but in time, things began to surface for me, and I wondered how I had never seen them. I have talked about it before how she was harder than me than the rest, how she believed in me even when I did not. On the other hand, she was a sweetheart to me sending for a quarter kilo of meat from 5k away as soon as we arrived so we could have a few special pieces of slow cooked meat with her just before we leave the village. Or how she would send for arrowroot and sugar cane from the farm by the river as soon as I arrived because she knew I loved them.
Losing her was big because the macadamia trees seemed to realise, she was gone and production went down. The mango trees never produced the same, the terraces in the farm seemed lonely and the air of warmth and festivity in homestead dimmed over time. there was no more maize and pigeon peas in a pot in the smoky kitchen or arrowroot and sugar can waiting for me. Even though it took me a long time to really understand, I missed her steely eyes and determination more than anything else.
Sometimes it takes the loss of a loved one to really connect with life and growth.
Going back to the thought of the maize seed, Susu was a seed for my growth. She was the epitome of resilience and the example of grace. Yet I did not understand this until recently; long after she was gone. She planted a seed of self-sacrifice and visible effort. Her seed also included open faith and trust with no excuses living. She was deliberate about who she pushed intuitively knowing who to push and to be softer on. She knew if she just put out the right challenge things would fall into place.
I remember standing by her graveside at her burial dry eyed and strong because that was how I saw her. She had chosen a DNR over a life with health challenges. How could one little lady be so strong and confident to move on to eternity? She knew she had run her race, kept the faith and planted all the seeds her life needed her to put out. She was done and ready to go out strong. She was a seed ready to produce more in its season.
The analogy of seed buried in the ground ready to sprout and produce more than it could above ground rose again recently. The seed may not know it will bring forth previously unknown fruit, in quantities no one ever anticipates but it willingly lays its life down to produce more than itself. Additionally, the side of the seed does not determine the side of new life; consider the size of the mustard seed and the mustard tree. It got me thinking, can every challenge I go through become the fertile ground to build me up?
I did not realise how deeply losing Susu would impact my life until later. I remember times when I could not see the road ahead, I remembered her resilience and I was able to keep going. I remember days when I wanted out of very difficult home and work circumstances when changing my mind about the situation totally altered the situations. I remember days of food shortages or limitations and recalled simple foods she cooked for us in her home.
She was not perfect, but I learnt the pattern of seed and harvest from her.
I must push the thought further to make my life full. I must see more, know more, understand more, and live more. In the search I realised that the other side of the seed is the habits, patterns, and behaviours in my life. They could be making room for me or holding me back.
Might I need to die to procrastination to reach my fullness? Could I attain that business goal by dying to my sleep, or TV or something else? Might my faith walk grown deeper when I plant sacrifice, devotion, and accountability in it? Could I reach my fitness goal by watching what I eat, how I exercise and how much water I drink? Am I being deliberate about my choice and walk?
Something in me must die so that I might find or attain the next level. I must let go of the things that hold me back so that I can rise. Some of the things that hold me back are fear, uncertainty, negative emotions, laziness, negative vibes, experience, past success and strengths. The seed for my future is the fruit of my present. I can no longer hold onto today’s success because it stands in the way of tomorrow’s accomplishments.
Today is the seed I plant for tomorrow’s rising. Tomorrow is the seed for the next day’s rising. Every day, challenge, joy, success, challenge, hope and dream, if the seed for the next place, assignment, place of impact etc.
Don’t fear dying to today, rather fear having no seed for tomorrow.
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. John 12:24