From one seed a whole handful:
that was what it meant to say
“the bounty of the earth.”
~J. M. Coetzee
What do you see in this photo? Obviously it’s a plant of some kind, but that’s not what I see when I look at it nor is it the true import of the image. Okay, so what more, you might ask, is there to see? Well, first I see a miracle, then I see God’s grace, next I see beauteous splendor, and finally I see a divine promise. Really, all that, in a nondescript, green cup-like object? Indeed I do! This large sunflower obviously has yet to open; nevertheless and even though the flower is not visible, I see great beauty in the fringed “cup” that’s holding what I know to be a stunning yellow sunflower. I also see great promise in it for I know that when the sunflower does emerge and mature, it will proffer an enormous amount of seeds which will not only guarantee ever-lasting continuance but also provide food to sustain living beings. The miracle in it is three-fold: 1.) it came forth from a small black particle buried beneath dirt, pain old, ordinary dirt, 2.) it’s growing in my garden although I did not sow it there, and 3.) it has not only survived neglect and lack but it has also thrived and grown to a height of six feet. As for grace, God’s amazing grace was promised us countless eons ago and this plant is just one more wondrous proof of life that He was and is still the faithful Steward of all that He has made.
Not all things are blest, but
the seeds of all things are blest.
The blessing is in the seed.
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. ~Genesis 9:11 ✝
Sit by the edge of the dawn / and the sun will rise for you.
Sit by the edge of the night / and the stars will shine for you.
Sit by the edge of the stream / and the nightingale will sing for you.
Sit by the edge of silence / and God will speak to you.
~from an ancient Hindu text
“The semi-colon tells you that there is still some question about the preceding full sentence; something needs to be added…It is almost a greater pleasure to come across a semicolon than a period. The period tells you that that is that; if you didn’t get all the meaning you wanted or expected, you got all the writer intended to parcel our and now you have to move along. But with a semicolon there you get a pleasant little feeling of expectancy there is more to come; read on; it will get clearer.” ~Lewis Thomas, American doctor and essayist
I think of nature’s seasons as junctures followed by divinely positioned, albeit invisible, semi-colons because they impart “a pleasant little feeling of expectancy.” There are always more of them to be had, and it is that expectancy of “more” that keeps me hopeful not only in nature’s seasons but also in the seasons of my life when what I see tries to delude me into thinking things won’t ever change or this is the end. In the passage above from the old Hindu text the use of “slashes” and “ands” could instead have been replaced with semi-colons because there is something more that comes after each of the suggested occasions to sit and wait. In the same way, the fact that gardens keep an unfaltering “punctuation of continuance” right in front of me is one of the reasons I’m so drawn to spend time in them. I need endless expectancy that breeds hopefulness.
And you will have confidence, because there is hope; you will be protected and take your rest in safety. ~Job 11:18 ✝
**Even the two mauve hellebores in the photo look a bit like a semi-colon if one uses his/her imagination.