By Patti Dobson
Religion columnist 

Faith: Garden's magic lies in scattering seeds of love


Last updated 4/6/2021 at 4:52pm

As much as the time change messes with me, I love the extra daylight.

My first thought, always, is that it’s time to plant, followed by “if you plant before Easter, you’ll replant after Easter.” My second thought is that we’ve entered a season of renewal, of being led out of the darkness.

Gardens are magical.

I begin my garden plan in January, right about the time seed catalogs hit the mailbox. I’m struck by the colors and variety of flowers, and the promises of (don’t need a green thumb) beauty that will rise from the Earth until fall.

I love to play in the dirt (minus the spiders). I love the way the Earth smells as it gradually awakens. There is something that speaks to my spirit as I prepare the dirt for the seeds I’ll scatter. It’s an adventure because I never know what, if anything, will grow.

For the past handful of years, I’ve made a mix of sunflower seeds. I grab a baggie and toss in whatever catches my fancy … teddy bear sunflowers, ice queens, brilliantly colored gems. Mix the assorted seeds together, plant, and wait.

And wait.

So far, my success rate has been a whopping, big fat zero. I have better luck with the birds at our feeders scattering sunflower seeds than I do planting them myself.

Yet still, I scatter the seeds and wait to see what will happen.

The work doesn’t end once the seeds are in the ground. It takes a lot of time and effort to coax the plants along, everything from feeding and watering them, to pulling weeds and doing our best to keep misfit dogs out of the raised beds. But the reward is the worth the effort.

The same is true for people. We scatter seeds of love, service, gratitude, hope. More often than not, we scatter seeds without being aware that is what we’re doing. Maybe the seeds will take, and maybe they won’t. Chances are we won’t know what those seeds bring to others.

There’s always a sense of wonder and magic when a garden blooms. The same magic that enthralled me as a kid captures my spirit as an adult. As I’ve gotten older, I realize that the magic isn’t what scattering seeds does for others. The magic is what it does for us.

I’m caught up in the moment of new growth and get to spend time reflecting on past gardens and memories. There are things I plant each year in honor of people I love, everything from peonies to fuscias, from tomatoes to peppers, from dahlias to sunflowers. Each plant comes with its own memories, and each carries its own other-worldly hugs.

And therein lies the magic. Scattering seeds of love.

Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at:

[email protected]


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