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Can People Be As Smart As Seeds?

The seeds of the star fruit are planted by us, and a few other animals, Christyl Rivers

Seeds are wondrous little packets of DNA, but they are much more than that. They contain nutrients, proteins, cells for storage, structures for dispersal, and attractive features that help other living beings spread them far and wide.

But seeds are also notable for what they do not contain. They do not contain waste or garbage. They do not contain aspiration and drive,(although it could be argued they are nothing but aspiration and drive), they do not contain aggression. They do not contain ego. They do not contain malice or even competitiveness as we know it.

Be the seed without being seedy

To contain just nutrients, and no malice is, more challenging for human beings. We, unlike seeds, hold so much more than just a promise of a new life. We contain ambition, too. But most of all we have to keep alert to the needless and counter-productive elements we carry as extra burdens. We have self-doubt, guilt, anxiety, and even internalized self-hatred. A seed that carries that would not get very far, by land, by squirrel, by wind, or by sea.

Seedy means shabby and unkempt, like a weedy lot. But to be the seed means to carry a purpose. When we carry self-doubt and injury, we are seedy. When we carry purpose and energy, we are the seeds of our own contentment.

It is worth checking your mind every morning and mentally whisking away the many useless things that hold us back from our potential. Think of it as seed sweeping.

What seeds do need to hold onto: a search for fertile ground

Seeds set out as tiny ambassadors to act as the handmaidens to all life. They are amazingly successful. They float across wide oceans as coconuts. They drift in the high atmosphere as windswept stores holding on to the promise of new life, even in austere and distant locales. The mysterious liana seed, Mary’s bean, may be born in the jungles of Costa Rica, but have subsequently been found on beaches as far apart at the Marshall Islands and Norway. A miraculous bean, indeed, aptly named after the Virgin Mary. But with our human diversity, we cannot all be Mary’s beans. Some of us need to restore where we are born. Some of us need to travel on to where we will find our patch of planet. Some of us need to travel alone, others in enormous groups for protection and strength.

Where you will grow may change over time. What kind of food, or fuel, or fiber you contribute can develop organically, or with lots of tinkering and tailoring. We can be carried in tough or fragile, cases. We can be as tiny as an orchid seed, or as huge as a coco de mer. Where your destination matters, and unlike the seeds of deserts, jungles, prairies and forests, you can have some choice in where you best fit in.

The roles of others in our field of life

Animals often disperse seeds. Bats, butterflies, moths and mammals all play their roles. All of these things affect us as well. We obviously could not exist without pollinators, or without the flows of rains, winds, seas and soil. Seeds give us life and work intimately with the lives of all the many organisms that plant, tend, consume and disperse them.

Elephants, for example, garden in those areas where some forest needs clearing, and plants, roots, and seeds must be re-planted with a healthy dose of manure to offer nourishment for the new seedlings to take off and thrive. We don’t have to be as effective as elephants in how we plant, but we can certainly do our best to offer someplace, space and grace.

Plant as many fruits, flowers, and forests as you are capable of doing, and you will be able to give back to all of the many networking systems of earth that give you life. The creation is not just for you. It IS you. Think of that, and think of your role in caring and sharing.

Open up your mind to the wisdom of seeds

Think of seeds and all they do, and you open up your mind to miracles. Think of things we get from seeds: food, shelter, paper, technology, wisdom and inspiration. We did not invent Velcro, for example. We studied how cockleburs catch on fabric. We learned to copy how the simple systems of hook and loop catch and hold.

Aviation technology also comes from seeds. Seeds don’t just sit on the wind. They flutter. They glide. They helicopter. They drift. They parachute. By watching the movement of how the creation effectively delivered seeds through air dispersal, people from Da Vinci to Tesla were able to discover nature’s many secrets, quite often brought to us by seeds.

Take along your own energy, air, and open horizons

Seeds are often gifted with air pockets, as with the Mary seeds of the jungle liana. These allow them to stay adrift for thousands of miles. They can carry their own moisture, air, nutrients and more. They gather everything they need before they start out.

This is much more complex for human beings. We are fairly high maintenance. How far could we get without satellites, smartphones and map apps? We are generally less tough than seeds, but we are also more open to new provisions. We can strive to be as efficient as seeds, but because we have invented so very much more ‘kit bits’ we tend to overload ourselves.

Travel light, but with the best tools you can find. Our animal ancestors found it easier to take those routes that provide water, food, air and shelter along the way. We can do that, if we really study nature and learn the lessons she holds.

Let your mind get full, then explode in all directions

Many seeds, like those of milkweeds and witch-hazel trees collect in pods. Then, at the best possible moment, in the season most advantageous for growth, they explode. Our minds can easily get over-stuffed and overwhelmed. Then, it may be the perfect time to let your mind just burst out in all directions.

The new year is often a time of over-flowing resolutions, creative bursts, and new directions. Take the time to collect your energy, your resources and your capabilities into one large pod. Then, let the creativity and energy burst forward. It doesn’t matter if every single seed takes root. It doesn’t matter if almost every patch of ground you seek is infertile, keep moving.

That is simply nature’s way. There are more seeds than there will ever be trees.

There are more ideas than there are concrete manifestations. This doesn’t mean that the seeds don’t have value. They do.

Keep the seeds of new life safe within you

Just by keeping the seeds of ideas in our minds, we create. Just by opening up new territory and new directions, we benefit.

People may never be quite as perfect as seeds, but that doesn’t mean we that we should not try to be the seeds of all new life.



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Christyl Rivers, Phd.

Christyl Rivers, Phd.

Ecopsychologist, Writer, Farmer, Defender of reality, and Cat Castle Custodian.