The Seed Market
Not to get all philosophical or anything, but Spring does that to me! And never more so than the three Springs we have now been on the flower farm.
It is the potential of Spring — the longed for and finally arrived warmth and hints of green in the fields and trees, the (eventual) wild abandon of growth that will not be stopped — it is built into us to respond. We are prompted to embrace Spring with a whole heart, even when we know just how fleeting it is. Summer will soon arrive and bring its own intensity (sometimes less welcome), and too soon, there’s Fall signaling the arrival of Winter.
I heard a fellow flower farmer call the thing that happens to us in Spring “pathological optimism.” That’s a fair description — given the cycle of seasons we have no control over, the yet-to-be-experienced weather fluctuations that will have their own way with what we plant, the vagaries of the mindsets of our hoped-for customers when they walk by our market booth or contemplate our bouquet subscription opportunities — yet still every Spring we get giddy with excitement over the potential.
Here and at every other small farm around the world, the embrace of Spring is taken to a new level. We plant literally thousands of seeds in tiny blocks of dirt, and tiny plants in the field, with confidence and surety our livelihood will come from it, in time. It’s an incredible leap of faith, believe me!
The writing of Rumi, the 13th century poet and philosopher, is amazing — if you don’t know it, find it and sink into it. This poem, The Seed Market, has long been one of my favorites. Years ago, when I read it the first time from my house in the city on a small urban lot, it resonated deeply. Today, even more so!
Friends, in the words of Rumi, when the ocean comes to you as a lover — or, when Spring arrives at your doorstep….or, when the opportunity to do something you love appears in your life….or, when you are given a seed to plant — do it at once, quickly, for God’s sake! Don’t postpone it! Existence has no better gift.
“The Seed Market” by Rumi
Can you find another market like this?
Where, with your one rose you can buy hundreds of rose gardens?
Where, for one seed you get a whole wilderness?
For one weak breath, the divine wind?
You’ve been fearful of being absorbed in the ground, or drawn up by the air.
Now, your water bead lets go and drops into the ocean, where it came from.
It no longer has the form it had, but it’s still water. The essence is the same.
This giving up is not a repenting. It’s a deep honoring of yourself.
When the ocean comes to you as a lover, marry, at once, quickly, for God’s sake!
Don’t postpone it! Existence has no better gift.
No amount of searching will find this.
A perfect falcon, for no reason, has landed on your shoulder, and become yours.
Translated by Coleman Barks