Wednesday, December 14, 2011

With Regard to Seeds

"With regard to seeds- some look like snuff, others like very light blond nits, or like shiny and blackish blood-red fleas without legs, some are flat like seals, others inflated like balls, others thin like needles; they are winged, prickly, downy, naked and hairy; big like cockroaches and tiny like specks of dust. I tell you that every kind is different, and each is strange, life is complex. Out of this big plumed monster a low and dry thistle is supposed to grow, whereas out of these yellow nits a fat gigantic cotyledon is supposed to come. What am I to do? I simply don't believe it."

Karel Capek, The Gardener's Year, Chapter 4, Seeds.

Like Capek, I am apt not to believe in seeds or rather I tend not to believe in the ones I sow, always worried that somehow I haven't got it quite right this time round. Did I plant when it was too cold or too warm, will the rain wash them away or is it too hot and dry for them to stay sufficiently moist for germination? Maybe the seeds were too old, my fingers a jynx? I used to think this was mostly due to a certain anxious nature and insecurity in myself, but perhaps it's due to the fact that there's still a part of me that simply can't get over this most natural of things, that a plant should grow from a seed. Perhaps, this is universal even and the gist of what Capek is writing; that for all that we know, even at the highest levels of gardening expertise or science, we are all still a bit in awe with regard to seeds and that if we are not, maybe it is only because we are not regarding them in the right light.

I'm enjoying this book.


frank@nycg said...

I just ordered it for my Minnesota reading. Yes.

Sweetgum Thursday said...

Yay. Enjoy.