Seed Sorting Is Good For The Soul

The myth of Psykhe or Psyche tells of how Psyche sorted seeds of many plants as one they many tasks (including a trip to the underworld) she needed to complete in order to be reunited with her love, Eros. Someplace, some time, I read or heard that we all must sort seeds in order to get to the truth of our lives.

Sometimes that seed sorting is metaphorical, and sometimes it’s literal.

Yesterday I found myself collecting Arugula seeds from the garden I planted last year. Arugula is a salad green that you can use like lettuce. It’s got a nice herbal bite that adds spark to salad. My couple of bushes grew and grew and grew, then went to seed, as plants will.

The seeds are tiny, maybe as big as a pin head. The pod is about half an inch long and narrow. Each pod holds something like a dozen seeds.

When the pods are dry, the open easily and the seeds pour forth.

At first I just let the pods fall into the bowl with the seeds, and picked the dry pods out. I got the hang of it I wanted a better way – seems like we humans do love our tools.

I remembered the lovely copper strainer I’d found at a thrift store and it worked like a charm. The seeds fell through and the pods mostly stayed out of the way.

I don’t know that I came to any major conclusions about my life, but I did enjoy sitting on my deck in the sun sorting seeds and finding a more efficient but still low-tech way to do it.

seed sortingI notice that the link above to arugula at Seeds of Change – a great place to get unmodified seeds – offers seeds starting at packets of 500 and going to 100,000 seeds. I suspect they weigh them, but even so, someone originally had to do some serious counting!

I have no intention of getting that serious about my seed sorting, but the peace I felt doing a bit of gardening only reminded me how important it is to take that kind of time for ourselves – gardening, painting, pottery, walking just to enjoy, whatever – something that feeds our soul.

What do you do that feeds your soul?

Love and blessings,

Anne Wayman: When Grandmother Speaks

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellie April 26, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I sort seeds, too, but my favorite process is making dirt. It strongly resemble making mud pies. I live where there is no growing soil so each seed I plant has to have soil made first. The difference between now and childhood, is that I sometimes use a hand trowell now instead of my hands–sometimes!

annew April 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm

And how do you make dirt?

I do some pottery which is adult talk for paying in the mud… and when I garden I get dirt all over everything including me.

Vicki Harness May 2, 2011 at 11:48 pm

The one thing that feeds my soul more than anything is plunging both hands deep into freshly tilled soil right before I plant my garden. It’s that time of year when my soul seems more alive than ever, as I feel my connection to the earth more profoundly than ever.

annew May 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm

ahhh, I can feel it right now!

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