A tiny house full of food and life sits on my kitchen table. I cannot see inside it and to be honest it looks like a speck of dirt that I might brush onto the floor or into the trash. It is dark brown and has a hard surface. It does not look like it could become anything – it is dry, and hard, looking much like the small sandy rocks that have come into the house on my boots this winter.
I dutifully following the directions that came with one of the little packages and clipped a bit of its hard shell. My toenail clippers become my newest gardening tool. Looking inside this little rock of a seed the colors are light tan with a tiny edging of green. The clipping has made a small doorway for moisture to get in and hopefully roots to come out.
I carefully planted this seed in a soilless mixture, this is a mixture which generally contains equal amounts of peat moss, perlite (and/or vermiculite), and sand. Under the grow lights it goes with a heat mat below it to give warmth. And I wait.
It did not take more that a week for this little seed to make some big changes. The seed expanded, the hard shell fell off into the soil and the white roots wiggled their way in to the moist soil. In a few more days there is a stem reaching towards the light, there are two cotyledons, the first leaves, getting ready to unfold.
This little seed house had all the food and energy it needed tucked inside to start new life. It traveled from a mother plant, through a seed farm, to a tiny paper package in the mail to my kitchen table. All the while sleeping like a rock. One small clip, a bit of moisture and light and we have new life -green, strong and making its way into the world.
I will take this little seed, now a plant, out into the world of my garden when the weather warms. There it will continue to grow, flower and produce its own set of seeds. It is an amazing journey that happens every year all over the world. It is a journey of plants that keep us supplied with food, fresh air and beauty.
It is part of the miracle of life that surrounds us all the time. It is life that is easy to forget about or dismiss like a bit of dirt on my table.
This spring – take time to stop, think and watch all those little seeds, the sleeping roots, bulbs and tubers under the ground that will emerge in the next month or so. Remember that they are literally life itself. Without them we would not survive.
Enjoy the rebirth as the soil warms and the plant life around you come to life.