Sitting on the edge of my daughter’s bed, my face approached hers for a fare well kiss. Abruptly, she shifted to pierce my weary eyelids. “Mom, I heard someone was gonna come to the high school with a gun and hurt people. I’m really scared and I don’t think I can sleep.”
Like any mom, this was alarming on two fronts: I was genuinely terrified that my child was terrified and I was terrified that my child was telling me she wouldn’t be able to sleep. In that moment, I reached into the depths of my toolbox and there I found a bag of seeds.
“Mirabelle, I want to share with you a precious gift that was given to me when I was feeling afraid. So shut your eyes and listen. Imagine that you are holding a bag of seeds. In your bag of seeds are seeds that can grow many beautiful things – magnificent flowers of every color and fragrance, ideas that have yet to be imagined, feelings of joy that never leave you. And in this bag are also seeds that can grow thoughts that will cause you worry and uncertainty. Seeds that grow thorns and darkness. Seeds that are exhausting to sow and that can overgrow your other seeds if you are not careful.
So now reach into your bag and pick each seed intentionally. You decide where each one will grow and what you want to plant. Place each one slowly and carefully. There is no right or wrong. Only your intention.
Once all your seeds are planted, pat the ground and water your seeds right before you go to bed. As you sleep, your seeds will grow. And when you wake up, you will be surrounded by whatever you have planted and nurtured.”
After a deep pause, her eyes opened into mine.
“Mom, we have to have bad seeds don’t we? Because if we didn’t have bad seeds we wouldn’t know what we really wanted or see how beautiful our good seeds are. I’m always going to plant a few bad seeds but I’m going to put a fence around them so they don’t mess up my garden.”
In that moment, I imploded with reverence for my child’s wisdom. Yes, we do need bad seeds because they teach us vulnerability, presence, and to love passionately and choosingly.
I put my lips to Mirabelle’s cheek and wrapped my arms around her as it was time to let sleep take precedence. Pulling back from her body in the darkness of her room, I saw her small hand reaching into her bag of seeds. And I knew something amazing was about to grow.