A farmer went out to plant,
seed in hand he scattered
Some fell on the surface of the road.
Birds came and ate it.
Others fell on rocky ground
and could not take root in the earth,
or send grain heavenward,
and so never germinated.
Still other seed feel among
weeds and brambles which
choked it out and insects devoured.
Some, however, fell onto fertile soil
which produced fruit of high quality
yielding in the heavens as much as sixty
and one-hundred and twenty percent.
Translation: Lynn Bauman in The Gospel of Thomas:
Wisdom of the Twin
The First Response:
The nuthatch perches on the squirrel-proof feeder
(the squirrels didn’t read the blurb about it)
flinging seeds in a spray of glistening black and tan.
flips his tail at my study window,
and dives in again.
Presently, they come:
the spotted towhee and
the dark eyed junco,
and a single dark-headed grosbeak,
the ground feeders who vacuum up and take away
the kernel on the wing,
letting the husks separate and settle
into the mud.
Journey through Logos:
I was just speaking to a friend the other day about casting seeds in the form of ideas—how we are never sure where our words might land, and how they might one day take a form we could never anticipate. And not just words, but also, how we act and move and the choices we make--everything is observed, noted by the deepest parts of our own minds and, often, by the beloved community we move through.
It’s a sobering and delightful practice, to be as generous as the nuthatch above with our wisdom and our foibles, to seed our relationships with the wild abandon of sharing ourselves without masks and with comfortable transparency. Parents practice this with their children, hands full of a lifetime of living sprinkled on their heads daily and watered with hugs. Sometimes, if you have a teenager in the house, it may be a very long time before you see anything take root and flourish.
And sometimes, when we look at the lopsided plant such seeds produce, we can only stare into the mirror it holds up to our own face.
This is the very bread of life, baked from the grains of our relationship with others and seeded down with conversation and lovemaking, with grocery lines and social protests, with yoga classes and dirty dishes. Take, eat, that you might participate in such abundance.
Hokmah’s Symphonic Note:
“Each work has to pass through these stages—ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Those who think ahead of their time are sure to be misunderstood.”
“Ask nothing; want nothing in return. Give what you have to give; it will come back to you, but do not think of that now.”
“A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century.”
What seeds have you scattered today? Take a little time to name them for yourself. The smile you gave to the gas station attendant, the coffee and chocolate you made for your friend, the birdfeeder you filled, the partner you listened to with care. These are the little seeds of our day. Be sure to scatter such delights widely and well and don’t worry where they fall. Some will give back 120%, but maybe where we will never see the plants growing at all.
Searching means nurturing what we are able, both the seeds of wisdom we receive and those we pass on.
You can find Kim's entire commentary on the Gospel of Thomas in Kindle, paperback and audio formats by clicking on this link: