About ten days ago, I planted seeds in my homemade egg-shell planter (see above picture). The seeds were “borrowed” from the McGill seed library; the borrowing process consisting of me scrolling through names and randomly clicking on ones I liked the sound of – red acre, buttercrunch.
I confess that I did not have much faith that anything would grow.
For one, when I opened the tiny envelope and tried to empty them into my hand, they rolled out everywhere on my desk, a few minuscule ones making their way into the cupped palm.
How could anything this small grow into anything?
But, of course diligently following the steps outlined in the youtube video (because how else do millennials learn how to garden?), I patted them down under a few cm of soil, put them on my windowsill and sprayed them with water every day.
July of last year, I wrote a post on how seeds help us to see prophetically.
I was now putting this in practice.
Spraying water day after day onto soil that looked barren, with no sign of life.
Then, 7 days later. THIS happened.
Hallelujah, magic does happen.
Meanwhile, I’m still learning that just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not real. This past week in the lab, fter a 7 hour treatment to coat my nanoparticles, I ended with clear solution and was convinced that my experiment had not worked.
My nanoparticles were simply not there.
But, praise God for wise post-docs who tell me to first put it under the transmission electron microscope (TEM) before throwing out my centrifuge tube.
Today, the TEM results came back and my water-looking solution had these in them:
Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
Back to the seed experiment, though.
I started to read “Age of Ambition: chasing fortune, truth and faith in the new China” by Evan Osmos tonight (the 2014 Nonfiction National Book Award winner and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2015).
Side note: if you have never read Chinese memoirs, please start with “Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper” by Fuschia Dunlop (a gastronomic exploration of Sichuan cuisine, but much much more) and China Road by Rob Gifford (a travel memoir of a BBC journalist hitchhiking Chinese Route 66 that made me tear up at several parts!!)
The first chapter of Osmos’ book traces over the historical development of modern China: a land reform campaign in 1949 by the Communist party that turned small family farms into collectives, followed by the mandatory agricultural collectivization by Chairman Mao in 1958.
Instead of families being able to grow their own vegetable patches, they had to join these collectives in which they lost their freedom to cultivate as they wished.
From what I have cobbled together of my family history, my grandma’s parents were wealthy farmers before this land reform campaign.
Now, my Grandma hates porridge and sweet potatoes, because they remind of her the days after her parents’ land was wrested away and gruel became their daily subsistence.
My ancestors were farmers, indignant that their right to plant and grow had been denied them.
With my little seedlings sprouting in eggshell planters by the windowsill, I can’t help but feel like I’m taking up that right again.
It’s empowering – this ability to play a part in the making of a life, albeit a small seedling life – yet also humbling, as I did absolutely nothing to make this life happen except spray potting soil.
I’m grateful that I get to decide what to grow (literally scroll through a page and click on names that pique my interest) and how to do it (an eggshell planter, who would have thought).
Grateful that I get to carry on (in some sort of millennial-inspired way) the tradition that my great-grandparents I never knew struggled to keep.
Anyway, enough of deep thoughts.
It’s spring! And I’m excited it’s finally here. Even with all the rain.
It’s the time of growing and new life. I’ll keep you updated on what becomes of my little eggshell miracle seedlings.
Meanwhile, on to you:
Are you able to participate in any way in the growing season of spring? Take a gardening class? Start your own herb garden? Journal about what you learn from it!
The deeper question: what are the traditions of your ancestors (could be related to their profession or otherwise) and do you feel inspired to keep them? If so, how? What is your “millennial-inspired” version?