Most readers of my published writings know that seeds of any sort set my mind and heart sailing into metaphors. I perceive these simple, small units of trees and plants as insightful teachers of how I am to mature on my spiritual path. Not surprisingly, a Palo Verde tree filled with dried seedpods caught my attention when I walked near Spirit in the Desert retreat center in Carefree, Arizona. I felt compelled to stop before the tree, where I contemplated it for quite some time.
The seedpods were within my reach so I stretched my hand upward and took several from the branch. As I examined them, I noticed how they bore a resemblance to peapods. But what actually held my attention was seeing how almost every pod had burst open and flung its seeds forth in a hope-filled gesture of fecundity. I marveled at how easily they seemed to have done that. Those empty pods quickly triggered a memory of an afternoon walk several weeks earlier when I came upon a clump of orange Daylilies by a sidewalk. Their flowers, too, had been transformed into small seedpods. When I touched a Daylily pod, it sprang open like a miniature cannon. Tiny, round, black seeds bounded out quicker than my eye could follow their leap through the air and down to the ground. I smiled at their eagerness to give themselves away.
I am not sure how long I lingered beneath the Palo Verde tree. My feet didn’t want to move because my mind and heart were ardently taking in lessons about spiritual growth. The sight of those emptied seed pods urged me to be as passionate and enthusiastic about sharing the harvest within myself, to have the kind of surrender that led the Palo Verde to release what it diligently nurtured and harvested during the intense summer heat of the Sonoran desert.
The next morning after meditation I revisited that insightful experience by writing the following prayer in my journal:
Creator of every kind of seed, visit the seedpods in my heart that are
filled with kindness, acceptance, and various spiritual nutrients.
Urge them to leap forth with a passionate desire to lessen antipathy, to soften any place inside that has hardened with self-righteous anger.
Encourage me to willingly release the gifts you have given to me,
to not hold back reluctantly by counting the cost of what others think or to draw back due to self-orientation, distrust, indecision, or fear.
Send forth the seeds of goodness in my heart so peace is hastened.
Fling outward the seeds of hope into the limp soil of discouragement.
Keep circling inside my wavering spirit until the strength of your love overcomes any resistance of mine to stringently hold onto the seeds of compassion, non-judgment, understanding and forgiveness.
Help me to have faith when the seeds that go forth from my heart appear to have lost their potential and ability to take root and grow.
I know transformation takes a lot of care, patience and nurturing. Here are my heart’s seedpods, Holy One. Free what is within them. Amen.