High in the alps an adventurer set out about 1200 or 1300 meters above sea level. The scene was barren and dry. It was a bleak picture as nothing grew there other than wild lavender.
After hiking for 3 days, I found myself in a wasteland. Soon the water supply was gone and there seemed to be none in sight. As I continued my search I saw a dark shadow high on the hill, and decided to follow. It was a shepherd who had his flock laying on the burning sand.
The man was neat with buttons sewn firm, tidy in his home, and kind though he did not speak much. The shepherd lay acorns out neatly and examined each one carefully – – As any good plant nerd would – – but he sat there separating the good from the bad.
Once done, he separated them into piles of ten and once again examined them carefully. Finally, 100 perfect acorns were left. The man soaked all 100 acorns in a pail before he left for the day with his sheep.
As he walked he used his iron walking staff to auger the ground and he planted all 100 acorns one by one. Over his time he had planted over 100,000 seeds across the land, but knew only 20,000 would germinate, and at that, he knew outside influence would take away more from rats, weather and resources.
This left him with 10,000 seeds planted. Soon after the adventurer was called to the first world war and deployed for many years but upon his return he thought of the man who planted 10,000 trees.
He ventured to visit him but realized the man now grew bees and had only four sheep left. He had to change his lifestyle as the sheep threatened his young trees whereas the bees would allow them to grow.
We spent the rest of the day walking in silence through HIS forest. Years later, the men meet in the forest for lunch and as they look around, they share stories of the times back in 1913 when the land was dry and barren and now because of the seeds planted by that one person, the Earth’s lungs grew spreading happiness through the villagers, and supplied the land with food, shelter and crisp air. It’s all in the seeds we plant.
Now I want to shift my thinking a bit and think of the seeds we plant in our minds, our friends, family or even strangers. Are we planting them with seeds of doubt and discouragement, or are we planting seeds of hope and wisdom.
As agriculturists, we know that not all seeds germinate and grow, but we always hope that they do. Our words are the seeds of life and when we talk to people, we never know what kind of “soil” we are planting into whether it’s rich and full of nutrients, or if that soil has lacked proper attention for 5 years.
Forests can grow from a simple seed, but it takes that first seed to make the first tree. As adults, we are required to talk to people from all walks of life with different stories and nourishments. Our words can be impactful enough to grow an entire forest in their mind through today’s media, trends and much more. However, a seed planted with thought in mind will grow the next set of Earth’s lungs and hopefully grow to help others. So I ask you, what seeds have you grown?