Renewal by Proxy

This is the time of year when local markets begin to sell seeds and peat pots to nourish our hopes for gloriously fertile summer gardens.  Recently at Hunger Mountain Co-op in Montpelier, staff set out pots of flowering spring bulbs next to revolving stands of Vermont’s own High Mowing Organic Seeds.  People rushing in to get last minute supper things slowed as they approached the flowers and seeds, the fragrance of hyacinth and daffodil catching them by surprise and the seed packets setting them to dreaming of the warm days to come.

Spring planting rituals, even on the smallest scale of a few seeds in one or two pots, might be thought of as renewal by proxy.  Watching the pots on our window sills, our breath catching when the first bit of green shows itself, is one of the most wonderful ways of internalizing the possibility of renewal.  So many friends who garden have expressed a fear I have felt when I tuck a seed into a bit of earth . . . .  “Will it grow?  Will it know what to do?  Will the magic happen this time?”

Even the most seasoned of gardeners feels the thrill of wonder when the first tiny green sprouts break the surface to greet the world.  “Look at me,” these intrepid shoots seem to whisper.  “Isn’t this something?  You put a little seed in the earth and out pops a living being.”

When we spend a little time reflecting on the miracle of sprouting seeds, we realize that we too contain many opportunities for growth.  We call our new sprouts and leaves our hopes and dreams, or we may call them goals, or even promises to ourselves.  Like most gardens, we usually have an abundance of choices regarding what to grow, but only those we nourish with our attention, imagination, and intention – the human version of the sun and the rain – will bring them to fruition.

This is the time of year to ask:  “What do I want to grow in my life?  Greater health?  Greater wealth?  Greater connectedness with those I love?  Greater involvement with my community?  Greater service to others?  Greater time alone?”  Whatever “seeds” we are ready to plant and to nourish with attention, imagination, and intention will take root and grow as surely as a sunflower seed grows into a sunflower.  If you doubt it, buy some seeds and enjoy a sense of renewal by proxy, and then make a promise to care as carefully for your inner garden as for your outer one.

Tapping supports whatever we want to grow as we embrace the possibility of renewal.  Telling the truth of our yearnings, expressing our fears and sense of undeserving, moving into the possibility for change, and finishing with an affirmation that links our metaphoric seeds with the real ones sprouting on the window sill is a potent way to experience the ritual of renewal by proxy.  Happy growing!

Until next week