Today’s blog explores the need for time to be in the darkness before new life can sprout and grow.
I received an email today from a young woman who found this blog through a spiritual community website of which I am an active participant. She shared with me the spiritual experiences she is having at this time and interestingly, they directly reflect the experiences I have been having. (I love how we find community when we most need it!) As I read her narrative, I was reminded of an image that has shown up for me as I have allowed myself this time of retreat….stepping away from my day-to-day obligations of writing, work, family, home, tasks, chores, etc. etc. etc. to DO NOTHING and SIMPLY BE. Here is what the image looked like:
The Story of the Sunflower Seed
Once upon a time, there was a ripening seed head of a great and majestic sunflower. Somewhere in the middle of that crowded seedhead, one seed slowly pushed its way past its brothers and sisters. It was simply getting too crowded with all those plumping seeds being squeezed together. Before readying herself for THE BIG LEAP, the seed took a deep breath, gathering all her courage around her, and in one final push, shoved her way out from the crowded seedhead and catapulted into the empty air. Screaming at once with terror and exhilaration, she fell through the light-filled void to the growd below. PLOP. She hit the ground with a thud. And then she realized……”Now what? Now that I’m free from the seedhead, now what? Who am I if not a member of the seedhead? Who am I if I’m not being crowded between my brothers and sisters? Who am I out here on my own?” Then a bright red cardinal flew down to the ground beside her and answered her question, “Well, you are a Sunflower of course!” She was startled by his answer as she had only known herself to be a seed among a million other seeds. The cardinal then scooped her up into his beak, flew to another spot in the field, scraped a little hole in the dirt and plopped her into the ground. He then covered her with dirt and said, “Now wait right here. Before you know it, you will no longer be a seed. You will become the Sunflower that God made you to be.” And then he flew away. The seed grew quiet. And as the cardinal had instructed, she waited. She waited as she felt the cool dirt around her and the warmth of the sun as it passed over her from dawn til dusk. She waited as the drank the water that periodically filled the dirt around her. She waited. She rested. She slept. Then one day, just as suddenly as the crowded feeling that had propelled her from the seedhead of the majestic sunflower, she felt her body begin to quiver and shake, pulse and vibrate. She felt as if she was being torn in two…..for that is exactly what was happening. In a fraction of a moment, the seed that she had always known herself to be suddenly fell away and she saw that she was now a bright green stalk, with tiny roots that began to reach deep into the soil, with arms of green that began to reach through the dirt and up toward the sun above. She was no longer the seed, but the beginnings of that which would soon become the majestic sunflower, just as the cardinal said she would be.
Moral of the Story
The moral of the story of the sunflower seed is simple. We need to remember that often, the greatest growth, the greatest movement, the deepest transformation happens when we are DOING NOTHING! Like the seed that becomes the sunflower as it is asleep in the dirt, we too need time to rest in the darkness while our DNA, God, the Universe, does whatever it needs to do in the darkness of mystery to create our transformation. We need do nothing but simply rest as God does the rest. And like the seed, one day we will suddenly realize that we are no longer who we thought ourselves to be, instead, we are who God made us to be.
Authentic Freedom Ministries