Seeds for Thought

calendula seed heart

By, Kris

The 4th Annual Herbal Hoedown was wonderful! Held at 6 Circles Farm in Lodi, it was bursting with plant-loving people, teachers, delicious food and medicines. If you haven’t come before, be sure to check out the Herbal Hoedown facebook page and join us in 2015!

I’ve been asked to share some of my opening remarks from the day…

When I thought about today’s opening, my thoughts & heart kept returning to APPRECIATING & HONORING THE SEEDS.

So, I want to say a few words about SEEDS.

First of all, the Hoedown is happening for the first time in the spring SEED time.Every other year, we’ve had this event during the later part of the green cycle; when plants have begun to make their seeds or cast their seeds and are beginning to pull inward readying for fall and winter. We’ve met during or after the last harvest; full of stories of the growing season and  readying ourselves for some well-deserved rest from long, long days.

This year, we gather after the reflecting and pulling inward times of winter, when the lambs and foals are young, the fawns just being born, and the new SEEDS are being planted.

Those of us who farm or plant each year become accustomed to the cycles and planting time is as normal as breathing.

And yet, under the surface of our normalized routines is a perhaps under- acknowledged world, and corresponding worldview, that is simply profound.

And SEEDs are at the heart of it.

LOOK AT THIS ONE, the seed head of Calendula. And this tiny one, sacred Hopi Tobacco. So small, I can hardly see it in my hand.

kris seeds

Each of these individual tiny seeds carries the treasure map, the instructions, to create another one of its people – with all of the stories of their ancestry and their dreams for future generations.

Each one carries the best of their intelligence and creativity, honed over time, living in the elements and in the landscape of Earth;

Adapting to the stress of changing conditions and living in relationship with the web of life in their neighborhoods.

Recognizing this is profound…

So, what happens when we let ourselves drop under the surface of our habits and taking-for-grantedness, even for a moment, to feel how amazing each SEED really is?

Let’s do it right now…Bring one plant who you love into your heart.

Now bring your attention to the SEED.

What happens in your body? In your heart?  In your mind?  

For me, when I really do this, it is so powerful I can barely hold it without feeling a kind of ecstasy of amazement…or brought to my knees in reverence… for this SEED and for the planet where we get to live.

How amazing it is that we trust something so deeply about SEEDS that we put them in the soil each year with the confidence that, given nourishing conditions, each SEED will whole heartedly give its best effort to jump up and sprout the life that is its birthright.

We, as people, need to stand for the SEEDS.

It’s not a coincidence that individuals and corporations who don’t believe in equality or sharing resources or the universal right to the opportunity to thrive have decided to try to control the SEEDS.

We need to advocate for the SEEDS – for their freedom & the native intelligence that they carry over generations about how to live in a web of life.

All efforts to stand for SEEDS are important… Planting and nourishing them, gathering, protecting and saving them, sharing them, telling the children who the SEEDS really are, organizing, supporting others who are organizing, thanking SEEDS when we gather them and in our prayers when we return them to the ground.

Paula Underwood, an Iroquois writer & educator, wrote about the indigenous tradition that asks,  “Who speaks for Wolf”.  This practice recognizes that when people gather to make decisions, many may be impacted by those decisions who are not present in the conversation – People, animals, plants and others who are our Relations. “Who speaks for Wolf” asks that we think about who isn’t able to be present to speak for themselves.  And so it falls on those who are present to ask, “Who will be impacted by this decision?  Can anyone speak for the ones not here? “

We need to do this for the SEEDS.

For their own sake – and because they feed us and all of life. We rely on them for everything.

Finally, the Herbal Hoedown was once a SEED.  It lived inside of lots of people as an idea or a longing and one day, the SEED stirred in two women – Amanda David and Ellen Brown – and they listened…

and watered and intended and worked and created this beautiful annual gathering of people who love the green ones and plant medicine. And every one of these gatherings has generated other SEEDS – sprouting ideas and learning and actions and relationships and community.

WE EACH carry SEEDS in us – biological ones, indeed, but also IDEAS AND VISIONS AND DREAMS – WAITING FOR THE CONDITIONS TO STIR.  I hope that this gathering can be a part of waking them up and kissing them until they sprout.

Thank you Amanda (Rootwork Herbals), Ellen (Dancing Turtle), Debbie (Know Your Roots) & Jaclyn (6 Circles Farm) for your inspiring and determined vision and to all the volunteers and beings of the land who made the day so special. Love & green blessings…Kris


I'm a researcher, educator, guest lecturer, and co-founder of Heartstone Center for Earth Essentials in Van Etten, NY.