Opportunity (and partly for Chris)

The flowers of spring are about survival – survival of the individual, survival of the genes or if you are very old fashioned survival of the group. But the long and the short of it is that they are about survival, and for flowers that means seeds. While many plants, including some that produce flowers, have other ways of surviving, it is flowers that are most conspicuous. I can’t remember the last time I heard anybody becoming excited about the runners of spring, or wandering lonely as a cloud and spying a host of golden rhizomes!

Seeds are a survival package primed to take advantage of any opportunity
that presents itself. Time and distance is often no barrier to the tiny packages of dormant life that are flung far and wide in the hope of opportunity. Some fall by the wayside, some find an opportunity and are then engulfed by those around them. And some fall on either metaphorical or actual stony ground. Man made gardens often abound with stony ground, the concrete drive ways, the flagstone pavements and the brick BBQ areas are as inhospitable as any place you could find. Strikingly hard, parched on one day and flooded the next, baking hot in summer, freezing in winter. Add to this the brooms of the tidy and the chemicals of the determined and you have a place where only the most resolute will survive. This is stony ground indeed.


And yet in the chinks in the armor of these baked and parched landscapes you can find growth. The abundance of spring has produced an army of new life, packaged for survival and awaiting an opportunity. Water and a few nutrients will do, the trapped dust of last summer, the fragments of fallen leaves and water from above or below will break the skin of the hard landscape and provide opportunity for life.

So sprouting from between bricks, in the gaps between the pavers and on the walls of old buildings we find plants (and animals if we actually looked) surviving – often not thriving, but surviving is enough. In the end it is the plants that will survive and the buildings that will fall. The slow force of cell division fractures our efforts at permanence, crumbling the desire to keep nature on the outside and us on the inside.

If we are to learn any lessons from nature this would be a good place to start. As people, if we are to survive we need to have the dust of last summer and water as well. We need support, space and encouragement. If these are provided by wherever we are, we will be able to grasp the opportunities that present themselves. If these are withheld, we may live but not grow, survive but not thrive. This has been on my mind of late. Where opportunity survives there is always hope.

1 comment:

Chris C. said...

Indeed Hope is so important because it enables future to be realized. But as important (perhaps more importantly)I believe from a human perspective is Love. Love enables hope in humans - something I suspect is outside the realm of the plant, yet love leads humans to hope and the seeds of the future can then take root and grow. As someone once said a long time ago. Now there remain these three - Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.