top of page

A Parable of Germination

There was once an aged gardener, who after season upon season of growing a bounteous harvest, was known as a master teacher of everything having to do with plants. One spring day while planting in his garden three neighbors came up to him asking him about why their seeds were not sprouting.

The first neighbor came up to the fence and told the farmer that every year he planted nasturtiums, but they never grew. He loved the flowers but had given up having that beauty in his garden. The wise farmer sighed. “Oh, yes, they are beautiful indeed, but the seeds need to be scared first before they can let in the life giving water. Once they have the water they will be strong enough to send out roots and grow.”

Shortly thereafter, a second neighbor came to the fence separating their gardens. “I have tried and tried to grow lavender from seed, but i have never been successful.” She sighed, gazing at the farmers lavender row, which was starting to stretch and grow in the summer sun. “My dear, lavender seeds are finicky. They need a season of cold before they will grow. Try putting them in a bag of moist peat moss and throw it in the refrigerator for a couple months before trying to germinate them.” the wise farmer replied. “Seeds like this need to be cut off from all that is warm and bright and good before their chemicals are ready to send out roots.”

Hours later, the old farmer was resting under the shade of a tree when his young grandchild came to him in tears. “My seeds are dead, they won’t grow. I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and nothing happens.” He sobbed. “Oh my child, don’t worry” The grandfather replied as he gazed at the cups of soil. “Sometimes seeds just need to be surrounded by water before we plant them so they can be full of energy and activated before they are planted in soil.” Together they went into the house and put bean seeds in a jar of water and tomato seeds in wet paper towels to help them on their way.

“All seeds are different, just like people. When people want to send down spiritual roots, they need different treatment to be able to absorb the nourishment of the water surrounding them. Some need to be scarred, some need a cold period and others just need to be surrounded by the spiritual nourishment for a period of time before they are ready. Knowing what your seed needs is key to successful development.” the old man pondered as he washed the dirt from under his nails.

Just as seeds have the potential for tremendous multiplicity of their beauty, so do we. We are each divine seeds that have enormous potential for radiance, joy and success. When we learn about different seeds we will learn that not all seeds are easy germinators, they don’t all break out of their shell with the same ease. The same is true with people. I am going to liken 3 methods of propagation to the needs of different personalities in their personal and spiritual growth. Some people are born with a naturally hard shell. This is not the same as an abrasive personality, these are people who are set in their ways. They are content in their shell and sometimes even protected in their shell. These people don’t grow until they are scarred or injured in some way. Seed scarification is a method in which the seed is cut by scratching, sanding, or acid (usually animal stomach acid) breaking through the tough outer shell so that the life giving water can penetrate and the seed can germinate. The emotional and spiritual hurt that these people goes through brings them to a low place. A meek place where their hearts are open to change in behavior and belief, open to asking and receiving from God the knowledge of what they need in order to send out the roots of deep spirituality.

Stratification is another germination technique in which the seed must undergo a season of freeze before they can germinate. These seeds have their own internal clocks that time their germination for after the cold, so they don’t germinate too early. In people we see this as a person who needs a full shutting down of the past in order to start a new life. We see this in people who need to leave a religion completely. They have the need to revoke all previous beliefs, religious or societal to discover what it is that they truly believe. The shutting out of the past allows them the stillness they need to go within and seek for the truth of their hearts.

There are other people that don’t need to be deeply scarred, or shut out the past, but they do need to soak. These people need to be surrounded by the truth they desire, maybe for a longer period of time than other people think they need. Seeds many times need to be fully immersed in water for a period of time before they can absorb enough water to send out roots. There is nothing wrong with the seeds, but alone in the soil they might take longer (seasons or two) to gain enough water to send out roots. These people need the motivation of having deep spiritual roots to keep them immersed in their spiritual water. They don’t feel the effects of the spiritual water until they have had it for months, even years. But the roots come.

As you have already begun on your spiritual journey, what kind of seed do you liken yourself to? Remember that every person is different, and every journey is different. Truth is one eternal whole. Have patience with people as they go through their own germination process. They might not have the spiritual awakening that you had, or that you expect them to have, but if they want to have spiritual roots, it will come.

bottom of page