What is a seed, but a package of hope with its own operating instructions

Today, we are midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. It’s also known as Imbolc, or Brigid’s Day, Groundhog Day, or Candlemas, depending on how your belief system skews. Essentially, it’s the moment when daylight is lengthening, and we might see the first glimpses of the shift in seasons.

The Sun’s path has returned to where it was at Samhain. Take some time to notice the quality of the light, for it is the same now as that shimmering magical glow of late October. But instead of the season of dark and silence before us, in the Northern Hemisphere, the season of light and growth lies ahead. And so we prepare ourselves with rites of renewal, cleansing, and commitment. We celebrate the first stirrings of Spring.

Beth Owl’s Daughter, “The Days of Imbolc”

On a practical level, what this means is you are now officially allowed to start dreaming about your garden!

Take stock of the year past – what to keep, what to let go of… what was successful, what was surprising, what was not worth the effort…? What wild dreams might you plant this year?

Ravensong Seeds suggest, for the keeners, that “While you eagerly await for your new seeds to arrive in the mail, you may wish to do a spring clean of the greenhouse or seed starting area, pull out the seed trays, potting mix, bottom heat, and watering can… And dream dream dream of the all the wondrous plant life that will soon surround and feast the senses. The art of seed-starting is easy to master with a little practice and dedication. Growing plants from seed is a rewarding and inexpensive way to start your home garden.”

I first started things from seed about a decade ago, and was pretty pleased with myself. Then, a veteran gardener friend let me in on a little secret: you don’t really get that much of a head start on most things. You can just wait and put your seeds in the ground.

Mostly, that’s how I roll now… but, with the added benefit of having learned what some of my favourite plants look like, as seedlings, so I don’t actually weed them out.

Starting something from seed is a lovely way to make friends with it… to get to know it. It’s a fun activity to do with a kid – take a few toilet paper rolls and an old container, and some potting mix, and see what sprouts. You can take it as seriously or unseriously as you want… the joy is in taking the time to handle a seed, and realize these tiny little beings are a package of hope, with their very own operating manual, and that is just mindblowingly amazing if you think about for a moment.

Art by The Wild Matroyshka.

And to further re-inforce the genius of seeds, here’s Sir David Attenborough, via The Kid Should See This.

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