Nature’s bounty in late summer and early autumn in fields and gardens are the seeds. The hope of renewal is often wrapped in cleverly designed packages. Each design not only aids the dispersion of each seed, but holds the seeds in suspended potential.
As any gardener who has plants and trees that attract birds and wildlife will know, seeds of these plants grow best after passing through the alimentary track. I have several prized plants that were gifted to me by birds.
Many seeds formed in the fall are designed to wait. These thick hulls that require the abrasions of rough and tumble best take advantage of the weather conditions of wet cold soil often tossed by wind and storm.
If humans wish to grow these plants there must be concession to these requirements. On many packets of my purchased seeds are codes that will indicate what kind of “pre-treatment” these seeds need to germinate best.
Cold stratification, scarify, and heat treatment are terms used to explain how to manually recreate the conditions each kind of seed might need.
We can break a seed’s dormancy at will. If this is done with bulbs it is termed “forcing”. In hothouses it is called getting an early start.
Human’s are all about getting things the way we want them. It is our ingenuity that has allowed for us to achieve so much.
When we are mimicking the conditions nature would be applying, by keeping seeds in wet sand in the refrigerator for a proscribed length of time for example, the biggest alteration is the possibility of more plants than would have survived in the wild.
Plants that are grown in greenhouse conditions or “started inside” will require a period of time to get used to the un controlled conditions of nature, this is called hardening off, without this gradual transition many cosseted seedlings would not survive.
I could write so much more about all of these things and the symbolism attached, but I started this post today because I wanted to express that in declaring to myself that today be a “no pressure day” I was actually course correcting.
Like seeds, and many plants, I require periods of dormancy and I am not good at taking them. My mind, my conditioning, always has me looking to accomplish, to see tangible results, never realizing that much is accomplished during periods of dormancy that can not be seen or measured.
Often there are ‘messages’ beneath the synchronicities of events if you stop to notice the recurrences. These messages are aligned with nature. For the past several days, I have seen mention of a need for rest, of downtime, of a catching up to oneself, while I have also personally felt terrible anxiety of not keeping up, not accomplishing enough, a fear of falling even further behind.
I get these periods of mental urgency, that are very hard to ignore. Retrospection indicates they all came when I actually needed a break from demands; a chance to gather myself. It was as if I knew my energy was failing, a cycle was ending, and I reacted in an opposite way out of fear. fear of not being in control, the mastermind. I was trying to change nature.
It is not that today I will force myself to do nothing, force is the problem. Force shows up for me quite often as the problem. I am so much happier and ironically more productive and more pleasant to be around, when I am spontaneous. Spontaneity can not be forced, or it is not.
Thinking about the necessity of dormancy , reminds me of another paradox; sometimes doing nothing at all is doing everything necessary. Waiting is hard, I lack the patience, the best way to fight my need to do something is to remember all that is occurring during dormancy.
If I can remember that just because we as humans are capable of overriding nature to our seeming benefit, that the pressure, the forcing, is not in keeping with the rhythm for the best most vigorous growth without more work required to upkeep, or to return to the best conditions as was planned when plants formed their clever packages of potential.
I get more done when I allow myself to do that which I do not need to force myself to do. The trick is not not allow the patterns from my conditioning , or the fear of lack of control can cause to arise, to direct my choices. I may be powerful, but I do not know more than nature herself, aligning myself with the ancient rhythms not only feels right, it works.