Updated: Sep 10, 2020
I’ve been thinking a lot about seeds and growth lately. It has been fascinating to read about the sowing and germination process. I vaguely remember some of the information from biology class, but at the time I didn’t care that much.
Why am I reading about seeds? Well, my word for the year was bloom. But at this point, we can safely say that is not a word anyone would associate with the year 2020. In fact, it seems like a cruel joke that I felt led to pick that word.
The Parable of the Sower talks about a farmer casting seed by the wayside, on rocky ground, and among thorns. Only the seed sown in the good soil produced a crop. But I was curious about what happens after that seed is sown in the good soil. How does it germinate and grow? How does it bloom?
When a seed germinates, it must first push through it’s tough outer shell. It is a rather violent process similar to a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The seed must transform, or in a sense die, in order to produce a plant. After the outer shell is breached, the root emerges. Finally, the sprout pushes it’s way through the soil in search of the light. But what happens if the seed is planted too deeply? If it is too deep, the emerging sprout cannot push it’s way through the soil, and the plant will die because it cannot reach the light.
Right now, we are planted in deep soil. We are isolated, and fear is the collective word of the year. We are afraid to leave our homes, go to work, school, or church. While a season of isolation can be good to reconnect with ourselves and our faith, as this virus rages on it becomes a dangerous place. We were never meant to live in isolation. We were created for community.
At this point, many of us have given up hope. We’ve stopped making an effort to have any sense of community. Many online group events have dispersed or the attendance fallen off. We’ve gotten comfortable, and on some level, accepted isolation.
This has been very hard for me as a single person. Even as an introvert, I need community. I have lost my music group and my yoga community. I have lost my faith communities. I am very lonely, and my anxiety and depression have been very hard to manage. I can’t do many of the things that help me self soothe. Right now I am so deep in the ground that I am not reaching the light.
There are a lot of people dying right now. Not just physical death, but emotional and spiritual death as well. It seems that we’ve forgotten about that. I hear cries of “this is the new normal!” So many have given up hope and accepted isolation. Four months into this pandemic, we are a disconnected and broken society. We are living in a state of collective trauma. I don’t believe that this is our “new normal.” But it is the current state of the world. So we need to find ways to adapt and help each other reach the light.
I don’t have any easy answers, and I am not saying that we should be unsafe. I wear a mask when I go out and do all the recommended things. But we must find ways to still live and have community. I want to encourage you to not give up hope. Don’t accept a “new normal.” Let’s look for new ways to safely support one another. Let’s help each other move out of the deep soil and closer to the surface so that we can reach the light. The human spirit is resilient. With each other’s help, we can still bloom.