Friday, 29 October 2010

The Courageous Seed

Maple Seedlings "One isn't necessarily born with courage but one is born with potential." Maya Angelo

It’s perhaps an unlikely symbol of courage, the humble seed. Who would have thought that a simple seed is an almost perfect metaphor of courage?

Think about it for a moment. As it lies in the soil, encased in its hard shell, it could comfortably lie there forever. Packed into its tiny casing though, is a huge potential. Everything needed for it to break out and grow into a mighty tree, a tree that could give birth to thousands more seeds, a tree that could provide food and homes for the creatures of the forest. Right now though, it’s just a tiny seed.

When that seed feels the first drops of water filtering down through the soil and wetting its shell it has a choice; to stay in the safety and security of its hard shell, to stay in the world it knows, or to break out into the unknown in search of its true potential.

It’s not an easy choice for that seed, put yourself in its place for a moment. If you stay where you are you will probably be safe for a very long time, laying there in the dark and damp soil, undisturbed, a tiny packet of potential.

If you break out of your shell, you may face many risks. As you soak up the water, the signal that it’s time to change, your shell will swell and burst open. Suddenly you experience life and immediately you become vulnerable. 

And now the hard work starts, you must push through whatever lays in your path, soil, clay, rocks, pushing and pushing towards the warmth of the sunlight. Finally you poke your head above the soil and stretch out into the warm sunlight. For the very first time you see the real world, the world you were born to inhabit.

Now though, the risks intensify. You must find water to keep from wilting, you must avoid being scorched by the midday sun, frozen by the nighttime frosts, or crushed by a careless passer-by, all the time reaching and reaching for the sky.

Every day though, you get stronger and stronger, as you spread your roots downwards and stretch your limbs upwards. Until finally, from a tiny seed, a tiny packet of potential, you become a mighty tree. 

Not every seed becomes the tallest tree in the forest. Some are destined to be big trees, some just saplings and some to be seedlings. But, every seed that has felt the call of those first few drops of water on its shell and has broken out in search of its true potential has felt what it is like to be alive, to experience living!

When we feel those first few drops of water we all have a choice. To stay in our shell, safe but not alive, or to break out in pursuit of our dreams and our potential, and whatever the risks, to experience life!

Image courtesy of Olga Nohra


  1. Com td certeza me sinto hoje como essa semente corajosa que recebeu as primeiras gotas de agua e que precisa mudar ...crescer, se tornar arvore ,..Ler essas palavras especialmente nesse momento em que estou vivendo , me faz refletir e tomar coragem para querer sair do mundo que ja conheço em busca do mundo que se encontra la fora a minha espera, mesmo sabendo que posso encontrar pelo caminho algumas pedras...pois td que preciso fazer ao encontrá-las é utilizá-las como degraus para alcançar meus objetivos...Adorei esse texto...muito!!! ;)

  2. @pattyObrigado Patty. Parece que vc ja é uma semente corajosa. Gostei suas palavras "mesmo sabendo que posso encontrar pelo caminho algumas pedras...pois tudo que preciso fazer ao encontrá-las é utilizá-las como degraus para alcançar meus objetivos..." Boa sorte com tudo!

    (English)I really liked your words Patty "even though I find some stones on the way ... all I need to do to find them is use them as stepping stones towards achieving my goals ..." A great sentiment!