One of my favorite things in living a more simple life comes around January, when all the seed catalogs start filling up my mailbox. Another favorite thing is when my mailbox is again filled to overflowing, but this time with packages of seeds that I ordered. And I still get a thrill when I open my freezer to see the boxes of seeds I already have and can’t wait to plant. My heart also leaps with joy as I fill jars and packets with seeds I have successfully saved from this year’s garden. Oh, yes. Each seed I save or order represents one more step in my goal of living that simple life I dream of everyday.
But there are some seeds that are just not welcome, and I do my best to never allow them through the gates. If they sneak in, or walk through when I am not paying attention, I quickly try to toss them back out on their ear. Yes, in part, some of those seeds come in the form of pigweed, dock and other normal garden weeds. But those aren’t the seeds I am referring to here. No, these seeds I am talking about are:
1) The Seeds of Doubt – This is probably the worst seed you can plant. Once it begins to grow, it sends tendrils that are really chains, and fruits with shackles that keep you immobilized. It prevents you from dreaming. It prevents you from doing. It prevents you from living the life you were meant to live. I cannot tell you how often this ‘weed’ seed flows into my heart on the winds of a sigh and tries to take over my mind. ‘Am I really in the right place?’ ‘I don’t think I can really be as self-sufficent as I want to be’. I can especially tell these seeds are starting to sprout when I sit down at the computer and try to write. So I just have to take a deep breath, reach deep in my heart and yank those weeds out by the roots. I tell myself that I CAN do this. I CAN learn. I CAN make cheese. And I CAN write. I just have to change my outlook on things – those ‘failures’ are actually a learning curve and a good lesson, not an obstacle or roadblock, or a reason to give up.
2) The Seeds of Anger – All these seeds do is rob you of the energy to get things done productively. Let a little anger seed grow, and you can only see one color – RED. There is probably nothing better to deal with anger than to spend the negative energy building up in a positive manner. Angry? Go do some heavy work. Clean out the chicken coop. Fix the fence. Clean house. Chase the cows back into the pasture (which is what probably made me so angry and frustrated in the first place). Go take it out on the weeds in the garden. You can always tell when I’ve been angry – there isn’t a speck of pigweed anywhere near my vegetables. And the way I had been yanking them out probably caused the other ones to pull up their own roots and run!
3) The Seeds of Mean Spiritedness – This seed just causes me to be sick to my stomach. It doesn’t matter if someone is being mean-spirited to a person or an animal. Each of us has been made uniquely. All of us have a purpose for being on this earth. Some to teach, some to be taught. People are on this earth to love and be loved. Animals are here to feed us in one way or another, or to just help Mother Nature in taking care of our planet. I will admit, there is nothing that can sow seeds of Anger in me quicker than seeing a person or animal being abused. But I know that Anger won’t fix the problem, so I work diligently to find a solution, rather than contribute to the problem. Instead of finding something to criticize, start looking for the beauty in every creature, whether human, animal or even plant. You will be amazed at how much more beautiful your own world and life becomes when you start finding the good. And who knows? Some of the ‘bad’ that has been weighing you down may just up and disappear!
4) The Seeds of Hate – If mean spiritedness will make you ill, then Hate is downright toxic. Hate robs you of as much energy as Anger does. If Anger makes you see RED, then Hate makes you see solid BLACK – or nothing at all. The roots of Hate are actually steeped in fear – of the unknown, of something different, or fear of your own heart. This is one of the most difficult seeds to uproot from your heart. It takes a lot of soul searching to determine what it is you hate about something. Then it takes a tremendous amount of courage to face that fear and eradicate it from your mind and heart. Just remember – the opposite of Hate is Love. And as the song goes, “Love’s the only thing that there’s just too little of…” Learn to Love. It’s the best weed-killer of all.
5) The Seeds of Envy – Ooh. This can be one of the most difficult things for me to eradicate. Sometimes I just can’t help but be envious when I pass a farm that looks ‘perfect’. Beautiful green pastures. Healthy animals. A barn that is sturdy and freshly painted. Or, I see all these websites on farming where the person is making such wonderful progress on a project I have been wanting to undertake. But most of jealousy is rooted in the fact that we only see one side of the coin. I can’t see that the farmer has just spent all his money on fertilizer, and then had to take the time to spread it. I didn’t see the fact that a horrendous storm came through and demolished that new barn, as well as took the lives of some of his herd. And I can’t see the outside edges of the photo on that website which would tell me that, although their raised bed gardens are pristine, they still don’t have the time, money or space to build a chicken coop to house the birds they are dreaming of one day getting. Or the fact that without the garden, they may not be able to afford to eat through the winter. Instead of allowing Envy overcome me, I try to see the blood, sweat and tears it took to get them where they are now; to see the setbacks and obstacles I know they have had to overcome to get where they are; and to offer up a prayer for success in their endeavor. I also remind myself that I will get there. I just have to pour out another pint or two of blood, another bucket of sweat, and a gallon or better of tears, as it is these three things, gathered together in a big bag of Love that gets the work done.
There are millions of seeds in the world. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are what helps get us through life – from the catalogs in the mail, and the enjoyment of selecting just the right ones to receiving them in the mail, planting them in the ground and enjoying the fruits that they produce. Others steal our time, energy and our sense of wellbeing. Maybe we should take a closer look at the seeds we are choosing to order, and get rid of those that can become dangerous and downright toxic. Life will be so much better if we can just grow the seeds that bring us joy, happiness and peace of mind. And the benefit of those seeds is we can always share the harvest!