All of these bright pink, beautiful zinnia blooms...
...are growing from one stem.
One thick, sturdy, well rooted green stem.
This plant is branching and reaching for air and sunshine, webbing itself elegantly and casually in a singular effort for LIFE. In just a few square inches of earth, with access to only about half a day of sunshine and the occasional splash of well water or rain, these blooms have been power-housing their way through the summer.
They provide beauty, calm, and ease. I don't think there is a more self-sufficient flower in the universe; nor do I think there is a more prolific one.
This time of year a stroll past any clump of zinnias
will yield you cups and cups of dried seed-heads,
perfect for storing until next season.
This has surely caught my attention before, but today it brought me to tears. Good tears... Grateful, hopeful tears. How wonderful to have proof that in nature so much can come from one tiny thing going really, simply, masterfully well!
Yes, the skeptic in me pipes up and says that surely back in March I scattered dozens of other zinnia seeds that did not germinate and grow. The skeptic would have me believe that the numbers are not in my favor. But you know what? Those seeds, had they grown, would have been crowded out anyway. Or eaten by my chickens. This one happy plant is all this little corner of dirt really needed, and it is more than enough. It is spreading all over the sidewalk.
From a single seed, slender and wispy,
comes all of this beauty.
I know we all get deeply discouraged by trying so hard in life. We fight passionately for our beliefs, and we defend our rights or the rights of others. We struggle with finances and stewardship. We test our most precious relationships and endure that same testing and analysis from others. I know we all grow weary, worse than weary, and sometimes think it's just not worth the effort. The failures seem so numerous and the successes so few by comparison. It wears us down, and it hurts.
When I was crouched today down on the sidewalk, pulling weeds, and this thick singular stem grinned quietly at me from behind those flowers, it hit me. Just one seed.
Suddenly all the many ways I have been feeling inadequate melted away. Just as strong and clear as the Worry Door vision I had a year and a week ago.. my heart sensed that despite all the times my efforts seem to fail or simply fade away unnoticed... when the conditions are right, great things will spring from one effort.
In that moment I felt legitimate excitement imagining all the things that might come to fruition when that one thing, that one special effort, finally germinates and takes root in my life.
I'm about halfway through Chesterson's Orthodoxy right now, and this passage seems perfect for the moment:
The grass is signalling to me with all its fingers at once; the crowded stars seemed bent upon being understood. The sun would make me see him if he rose a thousand times. The recurrences of the universe rose to the maddening rhythm of an incarnation, and I began to see an idea.
I happen to think that anything we need to know can be found in nature. Any message meant for us is there.
For my husband, who is working so hard at the Commish and is leading a team unlike any that place has ever seen, I am so proud of you. What are you are doing matters a great deal to people far beyond what we generally understand. Keep doing it. Keep fighting for what is right, and maintain that confidence that no matter where your path leads, you are respected and loved. You make me so proud and inspire me constantly to just do better. In everything. (Yes I totally said that mentally in a Jack Nicholson voice...)
For my children, I wish I could give you the world. Everything I do have is yours, and anything I can muster beyond that I am happy to see you use and enjoy. My heart wants to give you far more than material things, though, and I am so excited to sense that those days are returning to us.
For my friends, Marci, Jen, Melissa, Steph... Who each seem to be facing heart aches that can only be solved by Love, faith and hope, be happy! Because Love, faith and hope are the most powerful forces in the Universe. You are not powerless because you lack solutions. You are so incredibly powerful because you have surrendered to exactly What will make everything new and beautiful again. Faith, not fear.
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief:
for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed,
ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place;
and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
So, friends, if you find yourself slipping into that thought pattern where you lament past failures or indulge in frustration or even anger over constant, repeating, painful rejection... Think of the dozens of zinnia seeds that fell to the ground for nothing, except maybe a chicken's meal. Then remember that just ONE SEED became all that was needed. Do not give up. Do not stop trying. You are enough, and what you seem to lack is available through prayer and believing. Keep doing every single thing you believe to be good and right. Continue on a path of Love and just ignore all evidence that would have you think Love isn't the answer. THAT is the lie.
"Believe in the Possibility of Everything."