soil, and water are the renewing circuit of life.
separate items, create the conditions of a miracle, or in Spanish "El
milagro;" that is the miracle of life found only in suitable
areas of our earth, which scientists call the biosphere. Henry David Thoreau in the 1830's recognized that when suitably bathed in water many seeds sprout to find, if fortune prevails, a suitable spot to grow, adapt, mature, and live to seed again. Aristotle's student Theophrastus called this spot where the seed takes root: oikios topos; literally meaning the home place.
Henry David Thoreau was a resident of Concord, Mass. and a surveyor who wrote with a passion about the world he encountered and carefully documented in antebellum New England.
These are some selected passages from a journal of his making – once believed to have been lost.
"As there is even
yet a lingering doubt in many minds with regard to some trees, whether
they bear flowers and seed or not, it is more important to show not only
that they do, but for what purpose?
We are so accustomed to see another forest spring up immediately, as a
matter of course, when one is cut down, . . . that we hardly associate seeds
with trees. . . ."
"and do not anticipate
the time when. . . we shall be obliged to plant [trees], as they do in all
old countries. The planters of Europe must therefore have a different
and much more correct notion of the value of seeds than we."
"As time elapses
and the resources from which our forests have been supplied fail, we too
shall of necessity be more and more convinced of the significance of the
"My purpose in this
chapter is to show how according to my observation, our forest trees and
other vegetables are planted by Nature."
"It remains, then,
only to show how the seed is transported from where it grows to where
it is planted. This is done chiefly by the agency of the wind, water,
and animals. The lighter seeds, as those of pine and maples, are transported
chiefly by wind and water; the heavier, as acorns and nuts, by animals."
Henry David Thoreau, "The Dispersion of Seeds," Faith
in a Seed, Bailey P. Dean, ed. (Washington, D. C.: Island Press, 1993),
right setting of soil, shade, temperature, slope and moisture, seeds sprout,
giving rise from a single cell all the diverse and huge plants we see
around us that animals depend on to live. Even animals grow from single
celled seeds into enormously active multiple-celled creatures who
enliven our world.
To understand a seed,
is to understand more than a forest or any plant, it is to deeply comprehend
the world and understand how you came into this "garden"
we are commanded to keep and renourish by our commitment to the seeds
we seek to plant and nourish.