Friday, April 15, 2011

Apple Seeds

My Middle Bit, nearly 5 year old Mona, has a collection of apple seeds in a tiny plastic jar.  She guards this little container fiercely and keeps it up high on a shelf in her bedroom to protect it from danger; the new puppy, the 3 year old sister, the vacuum cleaner.

What is so amazing about this collection is that it started with the container, not the seeds.  She was perched at the counter helping me make Nervous Bread many weeks ago and asked for the vessel that was emptied as the saffron threads went into the recipe.  "Can I have that tiny jar Mom?  Please Mom, don't throw it away."  Of course I gave it to her, with a stern warning about the lid and how she shouldn't leave it on the floor or the dog would chew it up.  When I asked her what she planned to do with it, what was she going to keep in it?  She explained that she wasn't sure yet, but that whatever it was, it was going to have to be very small.

A space for a collection.  She didn't even have the pieces treasure yet, but she was making a space to hold something.  Making a space.  So wise.  Very small.  She didn't even know what she was looking for...but she was looking.  For something.  She was open.  And seeking.  So wise.

Like a photograph in my mind, I can recall the instant, about a week later when she recognized that she had found what she was seeking.  It was an ordinary moment.  Plates lined up, ready for lunch.  Peanut butter being spread, pretzels in a pile, apple slices.  "Mom!  Look inside that apple!  Look at those little seeds!  Can I have those seeds for my collection?"  Breathless, she jumped down from her bar stool and ran to get her jar.  The width of her smile when she rounded the corner, palm out, holding the empty jar, nearly took my breath away.  She was beaming.  "Mom, could I grow an apple from these seeds?"  "Well, Mona, not quite.  You could grow an apple tree."

I remember when I started the theMiddleBit.  It was nothing but an empty container.  Like Mona's jar.  I didn't have any idea what I was going to fill it with, but I knew it was important for me to make a space for something.  As it turns out, I was filling my jar with seeds too.  Some of those seeds stayed tiny, but others have grown into big ideas.  Some of them have actually produced enough fruit to feed others...for me, that's the real treasure.  That there are people out there who read what I write.  You tell me you are fed by what you find here.  I am so grateful for you.

Make a space.  Be open to what might fill it.  Be seeking.  So wise.

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