Of seeds & sowers, gardens & growing

When people try to bury you, remind yourself you are a seed.
― Matshona Dhliwayo

Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout. — Morihei Ueshiba

The seed is in the ground. Now may we rest in hope, while darkness does its work.
~ Wendell Berry

Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution.— Norman Vincent Peale

From seeds of his body blossomed the flower that liberated a people and touched the soul of a nation. — Jesse Jackson

We are a seed patiently waiting in the earth: waiting to come up a flower in the Gardener’s good time, up into the real world, the real waking. I suppose that our whole present life, looked back on from there, will seem only a drowsy half-waking. We are here in the land of dreams. But cock-crow is coming. — CS Lewis


  I the grain and the furrow,
The plough-cloven clod
       And the ploughshare drawn thorough,
The germ and the sod,
The deed and the doer, the seed and the sower,
the dust which is God.
— Algernon Charles Swinburne, Hertha (excerpt)

SONGS about SEEDS & GARDENS
Planting Seeds by Nimo ft. Daniel Nahmod (folk/rap): https://youtu.be/5AmqYcWjBmc
• The Seed by Aurora (pop/indie): https://youtu.be/_Mc_OM5oNA8
• Garden Song performed by John Denver & Muppet (folk): https://youtu.be/D3FkaN0HQgs
• Garden Song by Dave Mallett (folk): https://youtu.be/2m0LewjkO4s
• My Little Seed by Woodie Guthrie (folk): https://youtu.be/aO1HSp2soiA
• A Seed’s a Star by Stevie Wonder (rock/pop): https://youtu.be/KEK7tMxXRpo
• Plant the Seeds by Digging Roots (folk/indie): https://youtu.be/9EmLqdmvUDQ
• Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears (rock): https://youtu.be/VAtGOESO7W8
• Will It Grow by Jake Dylan (pop/folk): https://youtu.be/b0nFyEM0aHU
• Secret Garden by Rolf Lovland (piano/instrumental): https://youtu.be/-sWnEWpS_fA
• Seeds by Kathy Mattea (folk): https://youtu.be/61D5AU3SG7A
• Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles (rock): https://youtu.be/De1LCQvbqV4
• Poppy Seed Heart by Tom Billington (folk/rock): https://youtu.be/KdHpYiBoxKs
• The Olive Tree by Judith Durham (folk): https://youtu.be/agvbSC2rmDg
• Seed Song by Giants in the Trees (pop): https://youtu.be/RDpftwzTdjk
• The Seed by The Roots (rap/soul): https://youtu.be/ojC0mg2hJCc
• Seed Song by the Mountain Goats (country): https://youtu.be/bZi2FhOOXKc
• Mustard Seed by David Ashley Trent (Christan): https://youtu.be/uS6Er6I2nbM
• Rain Only Matters / Expecting a Harvest by William McDowell Music (gospel): https://youtu.be/JgBSwIGnS-s
• Planting Seeds of Love by Pam Donkin (folk): https://youtu.be/B5uUyM128M0

SEED SONGS (Kid Music):
• Seed Song by the Ark Collective (kids music): https://youtu.be/OBatjl0BRQg
• Roots, Stems, Leaves, Flower by Firefly Family Theater (kid music): https://youtu.be/9bFU_wJgvBI • I’m a Little Seed by Leslie Bixler (kids music): https://youtu.be/9oRarzP4oyU
• One Seed by Laurie Berkner (kids song): https://youtu.be/jDtehB-BpIA
• Seed Dispersal by Mr R’s Teaching Songs (kids music): https://youtu.be/3CCOWHa-qfc
• Una Semilla/The Seed by 123 Andres (kid music): https://youtu.be/02L8Y9z7McM
• The Farmer Plants the Seeds by Kiboomer (kids music): https://youtu.be/VxlGDAMqFkU
• The Seed Song by Let’s Roll Snowball (kids music): https://youtu.be/Cd2O4utPw6c
• Take a Little Seed by Tom Pease & Stuart Stotts (kid music/storytelling song session): https://youtu.be/O7St5L8fzX4
A Short Story of Falling
Alice Oswald

It is the story of the falling rain
to turn into a leaf and fall again

it is the secret of a summer shower
to steal the light and hide it in a flower

and every flower a tiny tributary
that from the ground flows
green and momentary

is one of water’s wishes and this tale
hangs in a seed-head smaller
than my thumbnail

if only I a passerby could pass
as clear as water through
a plume of grass

to find the sunlight hidden at the tip
turning to seed a kind
of lifting rain drip

then I might know like water
how to balance
the weight of hope against
the light of patience

water which is so raw
so earthy-strong
and lurks in cast-iron tanks
and leaks along

drawn under gravity t
owards my tongue
to cool and fill the pipe-work
of this song

which is the story of the falling rain
that rises to the light
and falls again

Earth, Teach Me — Native American Prayer, unattributed

Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain.

Prayer for a Garden — Maren Tirabassi

God, we need peace – so we come to the garden for quiet.
We need joy – so we come to the garden for our senses —
the green of leaf,
the rich crumbling smell of soil,
and the scent of pine needle,
the sounds of small life, of chipmunk and bird,
that come and go in all places natural,
the rough texture of gravel, the delicacy of a flower petal.

We need to let things go – so we come to the garden for rest,
and we need to let people go,
so we come to the garden to remember them.

We need hope – so we come to the garden to watch things grow
reminding ourselves to be planters
and to enjoy what others have planted.

We need benches where we can begin to let Sabbath in our lives.
We need paths to help us recognize our own journeys.
We need a justice commitment to environment,
a global commitment that calls us to action,
but we also need a small square of real earth
to root our speeches and to get our hands dirty.

We need community – so we come to this garden
to give and receive a shared blessing
(not the result of our personal winter catalogues,
spring compost, summer weeding)
to give and receive a shared blessing
from the hand of the Sower of seeds. Amen

OF SEEDS

By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity. — Robert A. Heinlein

We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists. To sow, we must open our hands. — Adolfo Perez Esquivel

By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity. Share this Quote Robert A. Heinlein
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/seeds-quotes A seed neither fears light nor darkness, but uses both to grow.― Matshona Dhliwayo

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. — Robert Louis Stevenson
Inside the seed are many trees… Inside You are many kingdoms. ― Bert McCoy

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed. — Robert H. Schulle

You were designed for accomplishment, engineered for success, and endowed with the seeds of greatness. — Zig Ziglar
Deep in the secret world of winter’s darkness, deep in the heart of the Earth, the scattered seed dreams of what it will accomplish, some warm day when its wild beauty has grown strong and wise. ― Solstice

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go. — Martha Washington

Failure holds the seeds for greatness – so long as you water those seeds with introspection, they can be the root of your success. —Daniel Lubetzky

The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success.— Paramahansa Yogananda

I think that any time of great pain is a time of transformation, a fertile time to plant new seeds. — Debbie Ford

Help young people. Help small guys. Because small guys will be big. Young people will have the seeds you bury in their minds, and when they grow up, they will change the world.— Jack Ma

Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream. — Debby Boone

Words are also seeds, and when dropped into the invisible spiritual substance, they grow and bring forth after their kind.— Charles Fillmore

Man is a competitive creature, and the seeds of conflict are built deep into our genes. We fought each other on the savannah and only survived against great odds by organising ourselves into groups which would have had a common purpose, giving morale and fortitude. — Robert Winston

I hope that upon this scorched earth we have planted the seeds of ideas that will bear the fruit of more diverse and inclusive stories ….  Wilson Cruz

The vegetable life does not content itself with casting from the flower or the tree a single seed, but it fills the air and earth with a prodigality of seeds, that, if thousands perish, thousands may plant themselves, that hundreds may come up, that tens may live to maturity; that, at least one may replace the parent.— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The dispersal of juniper seeds is effected by the plum and cherry plan of hiring birds at the cost of their board, and thus obtaining the use of a pair of extra good wings. — John Muir

Women of this planet need some essential resources: wells, seeds and roads. That is primarily all we have ever needed. Added to that, women need righteous and strong men who will help us to use our most cherished gifts: the ability to multitask and problem solve. — Roseanne Barr

Harvest Gathering Phoebe Cary

The last days of the summer: bright and clear
    Shines the warm sun down on the quiet land,
Where corn-fields, thick and heavy in the ear,
    Are slowly ripening for the laborer’s hand;
Seed-time and harvest — since the bow was set,
Not vainly has man hoped your coming yet!
 
To the quick rush of sickles, joyously
    The reapers in the yellow wheat-fields sung,
And bound the pale sheaves of the ripened rye,
    When the first tassels of the maize were hung;
That precious seed into the furrow cast
Earliest in spring-time, crowns the harvest last.
 
Ever, when summer’s sun burns faint and dim,
    And rare and few the pleasant days are given,
When the sweet praise of our thankgiving hymn
    Makes beautiful music in the ear of Heaven,
I think of other harvests whence the sound
Of singing comes not as the sheaves are bound.
 
Not where the rice-fields whiten in the sun,
      And the warm South casts down her yellow fruit,
Shout they the labors of the autumn done —   
      For there Oppression casts her deadly root,
And they, who sow and gather in that clime
Share not the treasures of the harvest-time.
 
God of the seasons! thou who didst ordain
      Bread for the eater who shall plant the soil,
How have they heard thee, who have forged the chain
      And built the dungeon for the sons of toil?
Burdening their hearts, not with the voice of prayer,
But the dull cries of almost dumb despair.
 
They who would see that growth of wickedness
      Planted where now the peaceful prairie waves,
And make the green paths of our wilderness
      Red with the torn and bleeding feet of slaves —
Forbid it, Heaven! and let the sharp axe be
Laid at the root of that most poison tree!
 
Let us behold its deadly leaves begin
      A fainter shadow o’er the world to cast,
And the long day that nursed its growth of sin
      Wane to a sunset that shall be its last;
So that the day-star, rising from the sea,
Shall light a land whose children will be free!

LETS PLANT SOME SEEDS TOGETHER — Rachel Held Evans, full article: https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/plant-seeds-women

… the most effective thing we can do is participate in the life-giving and subversive act of planting new trees: 

  • trees that have the roots of equality from the very beginning.
  • trees that gain nourishment from a free-er gospel and soil that is enriched with freedom and hope instead of fear and absolute certainty.
  • trees that have men and women and rich and poor and educated and uneducated and black and white and gay and straight all tangled up together from the beginning.
  • trees that are tended to gently and naturally instead of pumped with unnatural growth agents & pesticides that try to advance the progression of development to “catch up faster” to other churches that will always have the advantage of time and power on their side.
  • trees that get their strength from the beatitudes not the latest and greatest how-to-grow books and conferences.trees that are well-watered by people who are tired of talk and are ready for action.
  • trees that over time will flourish and bring shade and fruit and all kinds of other goodness for generations to come in the communities & cultures where they are planted.
  • a diverse ecosystem of trees that more accurately reflect the fullness of God’s image. 

 [Read the rest of the post here.] …

1. What sort of seeds will you start planting in your life … ?

KINGDOM of GOD & MUSTARD SEEDS

The kingdom is like a tiny mustard seed, he said, that grows into an enormous tree with branches wide and strong enough to make a home for all the birds. It is like a buried treasure, a delicious feast, or a net that catches an abundance of fish. The kingdom is right here, Jesus said. It is present and yet hidden, immanent yet transcendent. The kingdom isn’t some far-off place you go when you die; the kingdom is at hand—among us and beyond us, now and not-yet. It is the wheat growing in the midst of weeds, the yeast working its magic in the dough, the pearl germinating in a sepulchral shell. It can come and go in the twinkling of an eye, Jesus said. So pay attention; don’t miss it. ― Rachel Held Evans

The Reign of God is Jesus’ message, but he never describes it literally. He walks around it and keeps giving different images of the Real. For example, the mustard seed is very small and insignificant, and the kingdom is “like” that. Pliny the Elder, a contemporary of Jesus, wrote an encyclopedic book called Natural History, in which he describes all the plants that were known in the Mediterranean world. He says two main things about the mustard plant: it’s medicinal, and it’s a weed that cannot be stopped:

Mustard . . .  with its pungent taste and fiery effect is extremely beneficial for the health. It grows entirely wild, though it is improved by being transplanted: but on the other hand when it has once been sown it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it, as the seed when it falls germinates at once. [1]

The two images on which Jesus is building in this parable of the mustard seed are a therapeutic image of life and healing, and a fast-growing weed. What a strange thing for Jesus to say: “I’m planting a weed in the world!” Jesus’ teachings of nonviolence and simplicity are planted and they’re going to flourish, even wildly so. The old world is over.
— Richard Rohr, entire article: https://cac.org/daily-meditations/the-kingdom-is-like-a-mustard-seed-2020-11-16/

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:
stay together
learn the flowers
go light

— Gary Snyder

SPIRITUAL SEEDS

Everyone, from almost every tradition, agrees on five things:
Rule 1: We are all family.
Rule 2: You reap exactly what you sow, that is, you cannot grow tulips from zucchini seeds.
Rule 3: Try to breathe every few minutes or so.
Rule 4: It helps beyond words to plant bulbs in the dark of winter.
Rule 5: It is immoral to hit first.
— Anne Lamott

Although nature has proven season in and season out that if the thing that is planted bears at all, it will yield more of itself, there are those who seem certain that if they plant tomato seeds, at harvesttime they can reap onions.
       Too many times for comfort I have expected to reap good when I know I have sown evil. My lame excuse is that I have not always known that actions can only reproduce themselves, or rather, I have not always allowed myself to be aware of that knowledge. Now, after years of observation and enough courage to admit what I have observed, I try to plant peace if I do not want discord; to plant loyalty and honesty if I want to avoid betrayal and lies.
      Of course, there is no absolute assurance that those things I plant will always fall upon arable land and will take root and grow, nor can I know if another cultivator did not leave contrary seeds before I arrived. I do know, however, that if I leave little to chance, if I am careful about the kinds of seeds I plant, about their potency and nature, I can, within reason, trust my expectations. — Maya Angelou

It is memory that provides the heart with impetus, fuels the brain, and propels the corn plant from seed to fruit. — Joy Harjo

There are two kinds of compassion. The first comes from a natural concern for friends and family who are close to us. This has limited range but can be the seed for something bigger. We can also learn to extend a genuine concern for others’ well-being, whoever they are. That is real compassion, and only human beings are capable of developing it. — Dalai Lama

Everything we do seeds the future. No action is an empty one. — Joan D. Chittister

Whether we have happiness or not depends on the seeds in our consciousness. If our seeds of compassion, understanding, and love are strong, those qualities will be able to manifest in us. If the seeds of anger, hostility and sadness in us are strong, then we will experience much suffering. To understand someone, we have to be aware of the quality of the seeds in his consciousness. And we need to remember that his is not solely responsible for those seeds. His ancestors, parents, and society are co-responsible for the quality of the seeds in his consciousness. When we understand this, we are able to feel compassion for that person. With understanding and love, we will know how to water our own beautiful seeds and those of others, and we will recognize seeds of suffering and find ways to transform them. — Thich Nhat Hanh

… our capacity to listen, to be plowed up by what we hear so that we can nurture the seeds of divinity when we encounter them. If we resist being unsettled and loosened and turned into good soil, then the religiosity that has gotten us this far will begin to slip away. We will abandon the spiritual life and say that it was doing nothing for us.  But if we accept our discomfort and truly listen with open ears, even knowing that what we hear might change and disrupt us, we will begin to grow, and find our capacity to see and hear expanding day by day. — Karl Stevens, article: https://dsobeloved.org/luke-81-25-being-the-good-soil/

Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it gems of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and love. — Thomas Merton

We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way—centred on money or pleasure or ambition—and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly. And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do. As He said, a thistle cannot produce figs. If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown. — CS Lewis

Carbonized grains of wheat unearthed
From the seventh millennium B.C. town of Jarmo
In the Tigris-Euphrates basin
Match the grains of three kinds of wheat still extant,
Two wild, one found only in cultivation.
The separate grains
Were parched and eaten,
Or soaked into gruel, yeasted, fermented.
Took to the idea of bread,
Ceres, while you were gone.
Wind whistles in the smokey thatch,
Oven browns its lifted loaf,
And in the spring the nourished seeds,
Hybrid with wild grass,
Easily open in a hundred days,
And seeded fruits, compact and dry,
Store well together.
They make the straw for beds,
They ask the caring hand to sow, the resting foot
To stay, to court the seasons.
— Josephine Miles, Fields of Learning (excerpt)

The Pomegranate Kahlil Gibran

Once when I was living in the heart of a pomegranate, I heard a seed
saying, “Someday I shall become a tree, and the wind will sing in
my branches, and the sun will dance on my leaves, and I shall be
strong and beautiful through all the seasons.”
 
Then another seed spoke and said, “When I was as young as you, I
too held such views; but now that I can weigh and measure things,
I see that my hopes were vain.”
 
And a third seed spoke also, “I see in us nothing that promises so
great a future.”
 
And a fourth said, “But what a mockery our life would be, without
a greater future!”
 
Said a fifth, “Why dispute what we shall be, when we know not even
what we are.”
 
But a sixth replied, “Whatever we are, that we shall continue to
be.”
 
And a seventh said, “I have such a clear idea how everything will
be, but I cannot put it into words.”
 
Then an eight spoke—and a ninth—and a tenth—and then many—until
all were speaking, and I could distinguish nothing for the many
voices.
 
And so I moved that very day into the heart of a quince, where the
seeds are few and almost silent.

By the Waters of Babylon:
III. The Sower.

Emma Lazarus

1. Over a boundless plain went a man, carrying seed.

2. His face was blackened by sun and rugged from tempest, scarred and distorted by pain. Naked to the loins, his back was ridged with furrows, his breast was plowed with stripes.

3. From his hand dropped the fecund seed.

4. And behold, instantly started from the prepared soil blade, a sheaf, a springing trunk, a myriad-branching, cloud-aspiring tree. Its arms touched the ends of the horizon, the heavens were darkened with its shadow.

5. It bare blossoms of gold and blossoms of blood, fruitage of health and fruitage of poison; birds sang amid its foliage, and a serpent was coiled about its stem.

6. Under its branches a divinely beautiful man, crowned with thorns, was nailed to a cross.

7. And the tree put forth treacherous boughs to strangle the Sower; his flesh was bruised and torn, but cunningly he disentangled the murderous knot and passed to the eastward.

8. Again there dropped from his hand the fecund seed.

9. And behold, instantly started from the prepared soil a blade, a sheaf, a springing trunk, a myriad-branching, cloud-aspiring tree. Crescent shaped like little emerald moons were the leaves; it bare blossoms of silver and blossoms of blood, fruitage of health and fruitage of poison; birds sang amid its foilage and a serpent was coiled about its stem.

10. Under its branches a turbaned mighty-limbed Prophet brandished a drawn sword.

11. And behold, this tree likewise puts forth perfidious arms to strangle the Sower; but cunningly he disentangles the murderous knot and passes on.

12. Lo, his hands are not empty of grain, the strength of his arm is not spent.

13. What germ hast thou saved for the future, O miraculous Husbandman? Tell me, thou Planter of Christhood and Islam; tell me, thou seed-bearing Israel!

Seeding an Alphabet
Emily Warn

To invent the alef-beit,

decipher the grammar of crows,

read a tangle of bare branches

with vowels of the last leaves

scrawling their jittery speech

on the sky’s pale page.

Choose a beginning.

See what God yields and dirt cedes

when tines disturb fescue, vetch, and sage,

when your hand dips grain from a sack,

scattering it among engraved furrows.

Beyond the hill, a plume of dust

where oxen track the hours.

Does God lead or follow or scout?

To answer, count to one again and again:

a red maple leaf and a yellow maple leaf

that wind rifles and rain shines until they let go,

blazing their scripted nothingness on air.

Events at JCC and around town: July 8-10

FRI, July 8

  • Community Event: ZUMBA
    • 8:15am * Whitney Community Center
      The class is $5 per person with no sign in. Also, bring your water, a small towel and a smile!!!! If you have any questions feel free to either email me, text or call me 978-790-3375.
  • ** FITNESS CLASS with Laurie McAleer  (no Friday classes this summer)**
  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES
  • C3: COCKTAILS & CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS
    5pm • Zoom link & password required
    • Option: Call in via touch-tone phone: 929.436.2866 Meeting ID: 83028442916 (#)
    • Bring your adult beverage and your curiosity for a conversation about our sacred texts.
  • Community Event: UPPER SACO VALLEY LAND TRUST Celebrates Place: Art Show & Open House
    4-7pm • USVLT office, 111 Main Street, Conway, NH
    • Join us for an open house celebration showcasing our new office space in Conway. Featuring artwork from the postponed 2020 Art Celebrates Place.
    • Includes: finger food, seasonal drinks, and the Cheese Louise food truck; tours of the USVLT offices, and a new USVLT video by filmmaker Joe Klementovich.
    • Artists: Mary Bastoni, Marian Federspiel, Blair Folts, Carol “Sky” Jowdy, Hanna Lucy, Sarah Waldron, and Sui Witherell.
    • Limited parking is available at the USVLT office. Overflow parking will be across the street at the Robert Frost Public Charter School and the A. Crosby Kennett Middle School.
    • Click here for details. Questions? Call USVLT at 603-662-0008 or email info@usvlt.org.
  • Community Event: MAJESTIC CAFE CONCERT – John Hunter (bass) and Paul Heckel (vibraphone)
    7pm • Majestic Theater, Conway Village
    Info and tickets: https://mountaintop.ludus.com/index.php
    Walk-ins are welcome, but space is limited; reservations are recommended to guarantee your seat.  $10 per person cover charge. Wine, beer, & cocktails are available.  Doors open at 6:30 pm, music starts at 7pm.  Admission is limited to those 18 and older unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.  
  • Community Event: FRIDAY NIGHT VERTICALS
    7pm • Cranmore Mountain Resort
    Let’s get vertical! Ski the Whites and Cranmore Mountain are hosting their 5th iteration of the Friday Night Vertical Series, which encourages runners and hikers of all abilities to conquer the slopes of Cranmore in summertime style. The group run to the top starts at 7pm, but those looking for a gentler ascent can always start their run/walk any time after 6pm. $5 registration fee per event. Register online today. Dates available throughout the summer.  
  • Community Events: MUSIC AROUND TOWN
    • Wildcat Tavern: Al Shafner • 6-9pm
    • Shannon Door: Sheehan & Holden • 6-9pm
    • Red Parka Pub: Chimera • 8-11pm

SAT, July 9

SUN, July 10

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING (pavilion & zoom)
    8am • Pavilion behind Whitney Community Center & Zoom
    • Zoom link & password required
    • Join us for prayer, poetry & literature, and conversation.
  • WORSHIP 
    10:30am • JCC (in-person & zoom)
    • Zoom link & password required
    • Pianist: Maisie Brown
    • Message: Rev Gail Doktor about Jesus’ Parables
  • JCC Barbecue
    11:45ish am • JCC Lawn by River
    • Bring your appetites! We’ll provide the feast.
    • Menu includes shrimp, veggies, burgers & dogs plus sides of pasta salad, hummus and vegetables, chips & dip with lemonade and iced tea!
    • RSVP if you’re hoping to come: jcchurch@jacksoncommunitychurch.org.
    • Drop-ins also welcome! Open to friends, members, and community! Bring a friend!
  • MUSIC AROUND TOWN
    • Shannon Door: Mike & Becca • 6-9pm
    • Red Parka Pub: Tim Dion  • 4-7pm

TUE, July 12

Tuesday of Holy Week

A Seed grows with no sound but a tree falls with huge noise. Destruction has noise, but creation it quiet. This is the power of silence. Grow silently. — Unattributed

Text for Tuesday: John 12:20-36

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

Jesus Speaks about His Death27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people[a] to myself.” 33 He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 34 The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah[b] remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.”

Meditations on a Falling Seed:

A seed neither fears light nor darkness, but uses both to grow.” ― Matshona Dhliwayo
 
Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed. — Robert H. Schuller

The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go. — Martha Washington
 
We know we cannot plant seeds with closed fists. To sow, we must open our hands. — Adolfo Perez Esquivel

Reflections on seeds & weeds as change-makers: themes from Taste & See series

The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give. — William Arthur Ward

Every one of us has the seed of mindfulness.
The practice is to cultivate it. — Thich Nhat Hanh

SEEDS & SPICES – Special focus on mustard seeds.
Song about seeds:

  • Faith Like a Mustard Seed (Jamaican reggae gospel) song link
  • Sowing the Seeds of Love by Tears for Fears song link
  • How Great by Chance the Rapper (gospel and rap) song link
  • My Little Seed by Woody Guthrie (folk song) song link
  • Faith as Small as a Mustard Seed (Christians children’s music) song link
  • The Seed Song (Christian children’s music) song link
  • Just a Little Seed by Liz Buchanan song link
  • Finger Play for children “The Farmer Plants the Seeds” video link

Learn more:


Blessing That Holds a Nest in Its Branches — Jan Richardson

The emptiness that you have been holding for such a long season now;

that ache in your chest that goes with you night and day
in your sleeping, your rising—

think of this not as a mere hollow,
the void left from the life that has leached out of you.

Think of it like this: as the space being prepared
for the seed.

Think of it as your earth that dreams
of the branches the seed contains.

Think of it as your heart making ready
to welcome the nest its branches will hold.


Questions to consider: See the Buddhist parable of the mustard seed in the column below. The questions that follow focus on Biblical mustard seed references in Matthew 13 and Matthew 17.

Whereas spices are as valuable as currency in ancient times, including many of the seeds used to create them, mustard seeds were like weeds in Jesus’ time (and today, too). They grew and spread and were unwelcome in fields and vineyards. Yet mustard seeds are used as a positive image in the parable, turning our ideas upside down. When we take small actions and make simple choices, big things are possible out of those beginnings. And maybe the world of justice, mercy and compassion — holy Love’s kingdom here on earth — will grow and take shape in the most potent, surprising, and undeniable ways. Like plants that we consider weeds, that grow up to become healing, beautiful and transformative.

  • What small deeds or words have you heard that changed your perspective?
  • What simple choices and actions have you taken that may have a larger impact than you can imagine? Or what choices and actions would you like to make as a beginning of transformation?
  • Where do you see change in holy and loving ways that surprise you?
  • Who has surprised you with insights and actions that teach you to see the world differently?

MUSTARD SEED MUSINGS: Small but Persistent

I’ve read that the mustard plant is a bush, not a tree, but it seems that the point of the parable is the size, relative both to other plants and to the initial kernel from which the plant grows. — Mark Davis

They are prepared for a mustard-seed kingdom of God no bigger than the eye of a newt but not for the great banyan it becomes with birds in its branches singing Mozart …  ― Frederick Buechner

I have a mustard seed and I’m not afraid to use it! — Joseph Ratzinger

… in Jesus’ world … mustard was a weed, dreaded by farmers the way today’s gardeners dread kudzu, crabgrass, or bindweed. It starts out small, but before long has taken over your field. Why, then, compare the kingdom of God to a pernicious weed and pollutant? Because both mustard seed and yeast have this way of spreading beyond anything you’d imagined, infiltrating a system and taking over a host … far more potent than we’d imagined and ready to spread to every corner of our lives … — David Lose

God’s work is barely perceptible at times, and yet produces enormous results. — Pulpit Fiction

Mustard was just about as virulent as Kudzu. Once it took hold in a field, it would eventually take over the whole place. It’s just about impossible to eradicate. Modern farmers hate it because it gets in their crops. Ranchers hate it because it irritates the eyes of their livestock. What possible good could come from mustard seed? But in a very real sense, that’s precisely the point. God’s realm of justice and peace and freedom in this world is something unexpected. It works contrary to our expectations. — Alan Brehm

BUDDHIST MUSTARD SEED STORY

“A woman lost her child and was inconsolable in her grief, carrying her dead child throughout the land, begging for someone to help heal her child. When she came to the Buddha, she begged him to help her. He told him he could help her if she would collect mustard seeds for the medicine. She eagerly agreed, but then the Buddha explained that the mustard seeds needed to come from a home that had not been touched by death. When the woman visited each house in search of the mustard seeds that might heal her son, she discovered there was no house that had not suffered the loss fo a parent, or a spouse, or a child. Seeing that her suffering was not unique, she was able to bury her child in the forest and release her grief.” — Shared by the Dalai Lama

Spices As Philosophy

The secret of happiness is variety, but the secret of variety, like the secret of all spices, is knowing when to use it. — Daniel Gilbert

Variety’s the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor. — William Cowper

Arabian merchants controlled most of the spice trade for centuries. They became the exclusive suppliers of spices from Asia, such as cassia and cinnamon. In order to discourage the Mediterranean world from establishing direct commercial links with sources in the East, the Arabians spread fanciful tales about the dangers involved in obtaining spices. The real source of spices was “probably the best-kept trade secret of all time,” according to The Book of Spices. — jw.org

Words are like spices. Too many is worse than too few. — Joan Aiken

There has never been any great genius without a spice of madness. — Seneca the Younger

I just think you need to spice up life every now and then with a bit of adventure and excitement. — Richard Branson

Is not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, Manhood, learning, gentleness, virtue, youth, liberality, and such like, the spice and salt that season a man — William Shakespeare

But in truth, should I meet with gold or spices in great quantity, I shall remain till I collect as much as possible, and for this purpose I am proceeding solely in quest of them. — Christopher Columbus

Spices in Cooking & Food

Spice is life. It depends upon what you like… have fun with it. Yes, food is serious, but you should have fun with it. — Emeril Lagasse

Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever. Women never throw out spices. The Egyptians were buried with their spices. I know which one I’m taking with me when I go. — Erma Bombeck

I measure in my palm and use my eyes to estimate amounts; a tablespoon is a full palm of dried spices. — Rachael Ray

All those spices and herbs in your spice rack can do more than provide calorie-free, natural flavorings to enhance and make food delicious. Theyre also an incredible source of antioxidants and help rev up your metabolism and improve your health at the same time. — Suzanne Somers

Spices As Emotion

Spice a dish with love and it pleases every palate. — Plautus

Variety is the spice of love. — Helen Rowland

Love is like a spice. It can sweeten your life – however, it can spoil it, too. — Confucius

Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness, heart, talent, guts. That’s what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice. — Bethany Hamilton

Fear is the spice that makes it interesting to go ahead. — Daniel Boone

Meditations on Kingdom of God: pearls, yeast, abundant nets, hidden treasure

Small and precious things found in sacred stories,
with the power to grow exponentially:
yeast, fish, pearls, seeds, and other treasures in the kingdom of God.

Meditations on Kingdom of God

God is the Possessor of the Kingdom: whoever lays his head before Him, to him he gives a hundred kingdoms without the terrestrial world; but the inward savour of a single prostration before God will be more sweet to you than a hundred empires: then you will cry in humble entreaty, “I desire not kingdoms: commit unto me the kingdom of that prostration.— Rumi

You’re just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway. You’ve got to get down to your own God in your own temple. It’s all down to you, mate. — John Lennon

Meditations on Pearls

After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography. — Federico Fellini

Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange. — Shakespeare

At the edge of madness you howl diamonds and pearls. — Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry

Meditations on Fish

The act of fishing – for fish, dreams or whatever magic is available – is enough. ― Fennel Hudson, Traditional Angling – Fennel’s Journal – No. 6

Teach all men to fish, but first teach all men to be fair. Take less, give more. Give more of yourself, take less from the world. Nobody owes you anything, you owe the world everything. ― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun

The trout is still with me, as are my memories. The future is somewhere between these two forces, but it lives in mystery. The river records to trail behind or before me, and covers everything as it flows. This mountain and this river are old … ― Daniel J. Rice, The Unpeopled Season

“He can’t have gone,” he said “Christ know he can’t have gone. He’s making a turn. Maybe he has been hooked before and he remembers something of it.” Then he felt the gentle touch on the line and he was happy.”
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Meditations on Yeast

All men cannot go to college, but some men must; every isolated group or nation must have its yeast, must have, for the talented few, centers of training where men are not so mystified and befuddled by the hard and necessary toil of earning a living as to have no aims higher than their bellies and no God greater than Gold. — W.E. B. DuBois

Enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes shine to the stars. Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait. The grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas. — Henry Ford

You can’t just leave out one part; the bread won’t rise if the yeast isn’t there. — Holly Near

I Ask My Grandmother If We Can Make Lahmajoun
— Gregory Djanikian

Sure, she says, why not,
we buy the ground lamb from the market
we buy parsley, fresh tomatoes, garlic
we cut, press, dice, mix

make the yeasty dough
the night before, kneading it
until our knuckles feel the hardness
of river beds or rocks in the desert

we tell Tante Lola to come
with her rolling pins we tell
Zaven and Maroush, Hagop and Arpiné
to bring their baking sheets

we sprinkle the flour on the kitchen table
and it is snowing on Ararat
we sprinkle the flour and the memory
of winter is in our eyes

we roll the dough out
into small circles
pale moons over
every empty village

Kevork is standing on a chair
and singing
O my Armenian girl
my spirit longs to be nearer

Nevrig is warming the oven
and a dry desert breeze
is skimming over the rooftops
toward the sea

we are spreading the lahma
on the ajoun with our fingers
whispering into it the histories
of those who have none

we are baking them
under the heat of the sun
the dough crispening
so thin and delicate

you would swear
it is valuable parchment
we are taking out
and rolling up in our hands

and eating and tasting again
everything that has already
been written
into the body.

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