Few people visit our Mary Garden these days because of the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean there are no visitors at all. Birds fly in to its fountain to drink, a stray cat wanders through occasionally. Insects, a solitary butterfly, flit through the spring flowers.
Seeds are our main visitors these days, seeds in abundance, mostly from the Norway Maples and conifers around us, but there are others. Small seedlings we haven’t planted are showing up all over our garden floor.
“We live in a world of seeds. From our morning coffee or bagel to the cotton clothes we wear and the cup of cocoa we might drink before bed, seeds surround us all the day long.” Thor Hanson writes in his delightful book, “Seeds” (New York, 2016)
Seeds are the way plants reproduce, and this is that time. Hanson describes a seed as “a baby in a box with its lunch.” They come in all shapes and sizes. Seeds from our Norway Maples have wings; the conifers send our their seeds in armored cars. They come in abundance. Some of these babies will be grow to be maples and conifers.
Here we are in spring, seed time, an abundant time. The seeds tell us that. Do they also tell us to learn about God from them, a Springtime God, a Seedtime God?
Seeds nourish, unite, endure, defend, travel, Hanson says in his book. They’re traveling now. Grasses, like wheat and rye and others, travel most. They’re built to travel far, every where.
Early Christian commentaries often spoke of the Bread of the Eucharist made up of so many grains of wheat, seeds gathered from the fields to be scattered out again bringing life wherever they went, everywhere.
I go out as much as I can to our Mary Garden these days. It’s a book to learn from.