What we don’t always pay attention to is the lesson we can learn from that seed when it comes to living in hard times.
This tiny thing starts in the dirt with no light, no roots, and surrounded by worms and bugs. Despite its meager start, however, it begins to grow. It stretches toward the light through mud, pushing against the roots of stronger plants, until it peeks its stem out into the open air.
Even then, it has to continue to fight. It has to survive harsh, dry summer heat and stand bare in the biting winter cold. It must shed the cold in the autumn and its short respite in the spring is short lived. A tree has to survive for years in these rotating conditions before it can stand tall and strong, admired for its scars and age.
When that tree creates its own seeds, we learn another lesson. We have seen the tree climb its way through the muck, soak up any water it could, and battle the elements. It has even survived all of the wasteful damage that humanity has to offer. It, in a way, knows the hardship of growing and that there is a chance that many of its seeds won’t survive. However, instead of holding onto the seed to protesct it until it is matured, something remarkably different happens.
It lets go of the seed.
The seeds fall and scatter on the wind. They grow and fight to survive. The cycle continues.
Humans hold on tight to things: memories, money, ticket stubs, collectible figurines. Above all, we hold on tightly to people as if we’re a boat in a storm and they are our anchor. That’s human. Our need for communication, comfort, and love is what makes us different from tress. We can consciously hold on to our seeds, but, in doing so, we risk stunting their growth and our own in the process.
We must learn from the trees and let go. Let go of things that weigh us down and let go of the seeds that have to grow on their own. If they really support you, their roots will grow strong and tangle with your own like redwoods whose roots can extend for miles to create a foundation with other trees.
This lesson is something that I’ve struggled with in the past, but I’m learning to let go of my seeds, to spread my branches, and grow.