The secret of the buried seed
is to accept the darkness as a gift,
to trust the finger that presses us down
into what we fear will be a grave.
We have always feared facing death.
We have always feared being poured out
of our colourful packaging with its sunny promises,
and into that terrifying mystery called
We fear the hiddenness.
We fear the silence.
We fear the change, perhaps, more than anything.
But perhaps it is a grace
that this breaking of our protective shells
takes place in concealment,
and if we stop grasping so tightly to our fragile skins
we may feel the embrace of the soil,
and hear its comforting whispers that
yes, yes, life comes from death,
and this breaking is indeed a new beginning.
It is good to be small.
It is grace to be buried.
In this we return to the earth from which we were formed.
In this we are reminded we are earth – humus.
We learn humility.
We become human.
And all this is not an end, oh no.
All this pressing and breaking
is actually a movement of love,
love that pours downward,
love that has pierced this dark path before,
love that invites us to follow past the fear
and into the deepest mystery of existence:
What is broken is multiplied,
What is dead is raised to life,
What is surrendered may finally grow,
And what love accomplishes, no other power can unmake.
It is just as human to be hidden and quiet.
And all waiting is an invitation to trust,
and these deaths are an opening to life bright and beautiful beyond –
This is the way of love,
And love is the only way.
* It is Madeleine L’Engle to whom I owe the connection between humus, humility, and human, from her book Walking on Water (pg. 69).