The wizened dry flakes of seeming nothingness fall into my palm. There is little to suggest life, yet I bury them in the compost, gently covering them with soil, and give them water. What an act of faith! It may be days or even weeks before anything happens in that tray, but I will keep them warm and damp, in hope of fruit to come.
My ability to draw was like those seeds. ‘You will never be an artist’, rang in my ears from the day the art teacher uttered them to a 14 year old me. I wonder if she ever sowed seeds … Each of us comes with innate characteristics, but some of them take a while to shape up and become recognisable to us. Just like my quietly germinating plants, bulking up in the dark earth, talents and abilities feed on our surroundings, relationships and opportunities, growing slowly.
It takes patience to work out what we are capable of becoming, patience and nurturing, just like my seeds. I remember one year, we found some very old seed beans in an envelope, put in a safe place and forgotten. They had been there for years but we decided to give them growing space. With warmth and water almost every one germinated and provided us with delicious green beans in the summer. It is never too late to develop your own personal talents.
This is a season of new growth. My primroses have come into flower again. The rosemary bush has tiny blossoms. Daffodils are following the crocuses. It is also a time of dying as the snowdrops and aconites have played their part and retired. It’s not a final goodbye, of course, they will come again next year, to raise my spirits in the gloom of winter and bring new hope.
Spring brings fluffy chicks and ducklings, hatched from another thing that looks dead and yet harbours life. An egg looks like a stone but when the time is right, a tap, tap, tap heralds new life. This weekend is also the season of Easter eggs. As a young friend explained to me, ‘the shell is like a tomb and when the chick comes out, it’s like the resurrection.’ Another friend, just 8 years old, told me why he didn’t want to come to the Easter Egg Hunt. ‘It’s okay,’ he said, but it’s not what Easter is all about.’
No, indeed. Easter is not just about chocolate. It’s about remembering with sadness and looking forward with joy. It is the story of a man with divinity in His genes, who ‘went about doing good’ and then gave His life so that we could have the opportunity to live forever. It is my belief that, because of Jesus, we have the chance repentance brings, to be forgiven by God for our mistakes, weaknesses and wrongdoing. The sadness is for the agony it cost Jesus to take the punishment that should have been ours. But joy came on the third day, the first Easter Sunday, when He who had been buried rose to life again, the first of us all to be resurrected.
So, when you bury seeds in the earth this spring, remember there is One who loves you so much He died for you. Then, as your seedlings grow, remember that because of Him, you and all those you love will live again one day. And start to nurture those hidden talents, too. Who knows what they might grow into!