While in many ways that is the truth for those of us in the northern hemisphere, where Autumn offers up it’s bounty of food and color and hope for tomorrow’s yield by way of seed. … I have, for weeks, been collecting wild seeds for a project here in Boulder, Utah, and so I’ve consciously been surrounded by these bundles of magic! This project is dedicated to repairing the damage done on our roadsides when a water line was recently put in by way of large and damaging machinery. In early October at our “Harvest Festival” many hands pinched marble sized balls of clay, soil, seed and water…birthing hundreds of seed balls to return to the scarred land. During the festival while speakers offered wisdom in areas such as inter-dependence, resiliency, beavers, composting, farming with the wild, being good water guardians, many hands worked together to assist nature in her beauty making and her push towards diversity and healthy eco-systems. It was a healthy and dynamic scene and a wonder to be a part of.
Seeds are infiltrating me…my dreams are often filled with seeds and seedballs, as well as my hands, my kitchen, my belly, my flower arrangements, and even my writing! And many of you have now seen my Mentoring Project…finally in visible form for the world, which seed stars in! Like so many tiny seeds that have “wings” of silk to carry them out, my “flyer” flew into the world like those flying seeds three weeks ago…introducing “Growing Our Soul Seeds Forwards”. I hope it has landed in you.
We are gifted lavishly by the Holy, through seeds. I was giddy at the festival when my hands plunged into buckets deep with wild seeds collected by the many good folk of this small diverse southern Utah community. The profusion of seeds that comes from any one plant is mind boggling…then multiply that by the kerjillions of plants in unending variety, in every corner of the world!! This abundance spells Life and vitality!
Words…language and their origins too, have been capturing my attention as well. I am in wonderment how certain words find their way into my writing and vocabulary, or into communities, times, and unruly social clamor. Like seeds aloft from some unseen plant, words too land in us and in certain fertile fields they take root.
The word “ubiquitous” landed in me recently. I can remember other times when I noticed it floating on winds nearby, but it did not lodge in me, though I did take notice. Why now is it planted in me?
Ubiquitous is an adjective that refers to “being, existing or turning up everywhere”. Now isn’t that perfect when we think of the nature of seeds? I find them in the darndest places! And ubiquitous has its roots in ubiquity meaning omnipresence which arose in the 1500’s from the Latin word, “ubique” meaning everywhere. It then made it’s way into some theological traditions as they grappled to define God or Christ.
On my light colored wooden dining table that sits in front of one of my south-facing sliding glass doors, is a milkweed pod that is literally exploding with winged seeds. The silky floss that attends each seed that is neatly organized and packed into pods is called coma. Every now and then, as the pod dries and breezes flow through the screen, one seed and coma takes to the air and floats through the room. I smile. Milkweed pods, like tiny cradles or cocoons hold the wee ones in their slumber until they are ready to travel in their transformative journey. Cocoons are, of course the cradle for great transformative experiences for caterpillars in their great remembering of wings, yet aren't cradles also the cocoons for that as well? Where we as babes are put down to enter into dreamtime? to remember ourselves in other forms? to heal? to refresh?
I find great fascination in the fact that the Latin name for Milkweed is Asclepios. And who was Asclepios but the Greek God of Healing and Medicine. In the temples that were named in his honor, people journeyed great distances to, in hopes of healing. Asclepios's energy moved through the Priests, as well as snakes, dogs and others to bring healing through dreams. In the temples there were sacred “sleeping wombs” called Abatons, that people entered to await a healing dream. Once a dream came and the dreamer woke with it, a priest who translate what it offered as the way towards healing. Perhaps these milkweed pods are reminiscent of abatons.
Milkweeds are medicine. The books say this is why they are named after Asclepios…because of their many uses in healing. They are also the primary food source for Monarch Butterflies, whose numbers are declining dangerously in recent years. Not only does Asclepios provide food for these majestic butterflies, but they are the only place that they lay their eggs….the caterpillars then eat the leaves, and once they have made their great change into butterfly form, they drink the wildly fragrant nectar from the flowers. They are intimately entwined…Milkweed…Asclepius and Monarch butterflies. Healing and medicine comes in many forms… always we are transformed …we take on another “shape”, when we are healed.
Transformation, it turns out, is ubiquitous.