Small Hands in the Big World

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Seed Collecting

Like an industrious little squirrel, I enthusiastically collect flower seeds every year. Many years ago I would roll my eyes at my mother doing the same thing on just about every walk we’ve ever taken. Well, I suppose I used to roll my eyes at her for breathing … sorry, Mom. My dear Mother was always on the lookout for pretty flowers and abundant seed heads while I was always on the lookout for Park Rangers to slap our hands from taking seeds from the park. Now, I’ve come full circle and here I am scurrying around (mostly in my own back yard) looking for seeds to collect.

Seed collecting is pleasing on so many levels. I will admit I get some perverse defiant pleasure from by collecting my own seeds. I pluck those plump little seed heads and think about how much money I’ll save the next year in seed purchases. “Ha!” I think, “I’ll show you, $2.99 seed- packet-company, my homegrown seeds are better than yours and they don’t cost a cent!” Don’t tell Monsanto, they’ll be after me…
Mostly, I just love being outside doing something fun and useful. My heart feels full of gratitude for the plants that thrived enough to produce seed, and I look forward to Spring thinking about what new plants I’ll try the following year and where I’ll sow these seeds. The kids love helping too and there are tons of learning opportunities. We look at how each seed looks different and how some have little “wings” to help them float away to a new location while others are “designed” to just fall to the ground. Much to the kids’ delight, a little potty talk gets thrown in when we discuss how seeds can be carried in bird poop. After they’re done snickering about mom saying “poop,” they go back to sensing my attachment to seed gathering and respectfully treat each little seed like a tiny treasure.

Other times they lose interest and decide it's time to bring Mr Potato Head outside to play... that's alright, they let me borrow his hat.

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