Before a seed begins to grow into a plant, it is safe in the soil. The ground is at the perfect temperature to make it comfortable, and any water or nutrients it receives can be simply enjoyed by the seed instead of being turned into a stem that will break through the surface. This tiny seed does not have to worry about pestilence or a freeze, hungry animals or disease. It just sits comfortably in the soil, waiting. Waiting for the right moment to make its grand entrance into the world. Waiting to work up the courage to take a leap of faith into a place it has never seen before.
We are much like a seed. From the moment we are born, we are told who we are and what we believe. From the doctor exclaiming "It's a ____," to our first visit to our church, mosque, or football game, we are labeled. We live several years without questioning, without breaking through the surface of all we know to be safe and true. Some people live the rest of their lives in their seed-like state, never venturing out into the great unknown to see what they can become. Instead, they remain as they are, the person they have been told to be. What happens to those of us who question what we are told? What happens to those of us who peak our little stems through the dirt and see the light?
Just like a tiny sapling, we begin to grow. Growth, however, does not come easily. We have to put in the work to turn those nutrients that we have seen as a safety net and turn them into a few roots to keep us grounded, a few extra leaves to soak in the beauty, and several inches in our stem to help us soar. There will be years when we face pestilence, those naysayers who seek to pull us back into the "safety" of social norms. Sometimes, we will come upon a freeze when all but everything is taken from us and bouncing back seems to be an impossibility. There will be days when the hungry animals sneak up and steal your joy as they gnaw spirit. When we spring out of the safety of being a seed, we step onto an unpredictable path that will, in fact, change us for forever.
Through the pestilence, the harsh winters and the animals around us, we still grow and keep pushing upward. Breaking out of the comfort of the soil does not just bring hardships, it brings opportunities. The first is the chance to be in the sunlight. Imagine the joy of breaking through our soft soil to find ourselves wrapped in warm, glistening light that allows us to see the beauty around us and within ourselves. Although the pestilence slows us down, we will still continue to grow. Despite barely surviving the frost, we will still continue to grow. And even though greedy animals come to steal away what we have worked so hard for, we will still continue to grow.
As every year brings its joys and challenges, we face them with growing ease, because our stems turn into trunks. Our tiny buds turn into branches, and our leaves cast dancing shadows around us. Breaking through the surface, fighting to find what is truly within ourselves, becomes safer than sitting still and silent as a seed. The views from our towering tops make every hardship and set back worth it. We give up being safe to be strong. We give up being secure to make something beautiful out of ourselves.
Little seed, you don't have to hide anymore. You don't have to be afraid to pop your little head out of the soil, because those who have gone before you create a beautiful view and will shelter you as you leave the safety of the seed to become who you were always meant to be.