People are like plants; they grow towards the light – Hope Jahren “Lab Girl.”

recently did a post on Hope Jahren – “Lab Girl” I bought the book a few weeks ago.  Her understanding of life from her studies of the earth, plants and trees, opens our minds to see life more clearly.  A great read.

“A seed knows how to wait.  Most seeds wait for at least a year before starting to grow; a cherry tree seed can wait for a hundred years with no problem.  What exactly each seed is waiting for is known only to that seed. Some unique trigger combination of temperature-moisture-light and many other things is required to convince a seed to jump off the deep end and take its chance – to take its one and only chance to grow.”

Lab Girl 

What does it take for us to grow towards the light?  We are all unique and we all require a unique combination to take a leap of faith and grow.  How long I take might be completely different to someone else.  I might be a cherry tree seed and not start to grow anytime soon, or I may sprout within a year. Practising understanding and patience with each other, is how we create space for everyone to grow. When I focus on my needs and grow  towards the light each day, I help others expand and allow them to sprout in their own time.

44 thoughts on “Patience

  1. I would like to echo what Crowing Crone Joss said,” May we allow one another space to be, to grow towards the light in our own way, at our own pace.”

  2. Although I believe patience, understanding, observation and learning are integral factors in development and growth I also believe that some personalities occasionally need initial encouragement to help initiate a process. Developing the skill to understand whether the individual needs nurturing or alone time to begin “producing” this initial “growth phase” requires great depth of personal character. Finding a balance between assistance and interference is key.
    There is much wisdom in your words.

  3. Oversimplified, yet this reminds me a bit about the reverence for other sentient life as conveyed in the movie “Avatar.” We human beings are not necessarily special in our growth. 🙂

  4. I get goosebumps thinking about those seeds waiting for a hundred years for the appropriate time. And knowing we have that kind of perfect timing built into us as well. We have no idea the scope of what we have been given!


      1. Karen, I’m about half way through your book. It is powerful, inspiring, encouraging and instructive for those who starve for direction when faced with the most challenging of circumstances.
        I will have more for you after I complete the courageous odyssey of you and your family.

      2. Karen,
        I just finished reading your wonderful book. You showed strength in your willing openness in discussion of the tragic loss of your son. And hide behind no mask in sharing the darkness at all stages in suffering, struggle and recovery.
        I have found through your trying years of adjustment that if one looks beyond the cross of suffering and endure what one must, their awaits a greater good. For Easter, too, requires a Good Friday.

        I found great value in the quotes that opened each chapter. A few came to mind, and I offer them as the best way that I can emphasize the impact of your message.

        “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. – C.S. Lewis

        “In the darkest night of the year, when the stars have all gone out. Courage is better than fear. Faith is truer than doubt.” – Ultimas Veritas, by Washington Gladden

        “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish a single candle.” – Saint Francis of Assisi

        In your search and struggle for but one ray of light, Karen, you have led your family and loved ones out of the darkness of despair by your example. And the loving memory of your son will last as a legacy in courage.

      3. I am very humbled by your beautiful comment Alan. Thankyou so much for taking the time to read my story and for sharing your thoughts. I love your quotes and I appreciate the gift that writing has given me. Many blessings to you.

  5. I love your analogy, and if I can add, it’s like the plant life in South-Africa …

    At times I feel like the Namib flowers, blooming fast and furious for a couple of days each year just to fade away back into the soil to once again await the annual down pour to awaken me once more.
    Though it seems that when you have reached balance in your life, you are more likely to be akin to the coastal Fynbos. As frail and timid as it is, it’s seeds and growth depends on devastating fires to clear out thicker invading bush to ensure it’s continued existence. In the same way, we too need constant renewal in the form of introspection and self evaluation to “burn” away that which had invaded our lives, hearts and minds, so we can reach out towards the sun once more, unobscured.

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