Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 263 Whirybirds on the Wind

Dear friends,

Science definition for today:

stratification - subjecting seeds to cold, moist conditions.

Out my picture window today I watched as the maple seed whirlybirds spun their way down from the sunny, twinkly treetops to my lawn. I remember as a little girl chasing about my yard trying to catch helicopters with my brother Donnie. I loved to watch them spin, like little green ballerinas in a great windy dance.

I'm a science lover by nature, so I like to see both the poetry and the reason in how things work. Form and function, when they are entwined, create the beauty of the natural world. So I did a little reading on maple seeds. Turns out our whirlybirds are tough little suckers, some remaining dormant for several years before germinating. The hard seed coating must be softened up by stratification, including frost and weathering action. "This cold, moist period triggers the seed's embryo. It's growth and subsequent expansion eventually break through the softened seed coat in it's search for sun and nutrients."

Or, as the Great One puts it "unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it bears no fruit".

Who knew, that the mighty maple in my front yard had to endure frost and "weathering" to begin its trek toward greatness? Who thinks about the fact that the seed must literally fall apart before it can get what it needs? And who in the world, without prior knowledge, would ever guess that the little helicopter would become a tower of strength and endurance, giving shade and oxygen and a home for critters and who knows what else?

When I'm broken by circumstances, or when it feels really dark and frosty in my soul, I want to remember the dancing whirlybird. My personal stratification, and yours, are part of the process of getting us to be more like Jesus. More kind. More compassionate. More understanding. Less touchy. Less angry. Less hard. If it takes a financial beating, a relational problem, a health issue, a loss, or even a terrible accident to get us to germinate, so be it. Eventually the life inside will come out, find the sun and nutrients, and grow into something truly remarkable. That is the hope in all our troubles. God Himself is the secret mystery behind the process, turning evil into good and darkness into light by the power of love.

I love maple trees, tall and strong, and lovely, lovely in the fall. They were all once puny little whirlybirds dancing in the wind. Who would have guessed?

Thank you to the Wonderful Walkers for the picnic tonite. Your family always makes me happy!

To all my fellow whirlybirds, I love you, bloggie dears!

Your friend on the maple lined pilgrim road,



Mel said...

I've been thinking about plants and seeds a lot lately too (and groundhogs, since they are devouring just about everything in my garden, fence and all!) Take my pea plants for example ... just as they were starting to give us beautiful peas our dear whistle pig friend (PG's named him "Louie" - he also has a Mrs.) started in on them. Yet despite the fact that they have no leaves, they are still flowering and little pods are still growing! They got what they needed during the most fragile time of life ... and now that the "hard times" have come they are still blooming.
See you tomorrow!

johandav said...

Dear Mel,

Don't you love it! What perseverance! What stick to! I have a new found respect for those peas...


Susan said...

Food for Metaphor:

Sorry I haven't been posting, but I read ALL of yours!

I'm absolutely with you about summer--"it ain't over till it's over."
:) Susan