This weekend the rain stopped for two full days and the sun shone down on us and we rejoiced. All day Saturday, Mitch and I shoveled compost, and in the evening we took ibuprofen and warm baths. Sunday, again, I went back to work with my sidekicks, and I sowed flower seeds while they waged lightsaber battles among the garden beds.
February puts a spell on us: a dreary, it-will-be-like-this-forever spell. But the first sunny weekend, when the weather is warm enough to play outside without a parka, puts an end to that. No, we realize, the gray won’t last forever! Blue sky is still up there, above the clouds. The sun won’t always filter through them but will, one day, shine directly upon us.
And so, to celebrate that glimpse of the sky above the gray clouds, I want to share with you a springy book—one we’ve had for so long and that I love so much it shocked me to learn I hadn’t shared it with you yet.
Little Seed: A Life is a board book, following the life of one little seed. Gardening metaphors are some of the best I’ve found for the Christian life, and Callie Grant takes this one and tucks some profound truths into a beautiful, simple story.
The book follows Little Seed as it is plucked up and carried and dropped and buried and seems to lie still for a time. But, Grant reminds us, God gave the seed everything it needed to endure the winter and prepare for spring. Reading this story with a preschooler is great fun, because they’re two steps ahead of you: I know what’s happening! It’s growing! The mystery to them is: What kind of seed is it? What kind of plant will it become?
But as an adult, there’s much to savor, too, and that makes this the best sort of children’s story. The seed goes through death to bring life to others; even in the bleakest place, God still provides for it; the seed’s faithful growth sends out a flurry of new seeds. These are the things I love thinking about as I tuck echinachea and valerian seeds into the soil: death, for the Christian, yields life. And our long wait, beneath a closed gray sky, will one day end. The birds remember, and they sing about it. The bulbs know, and they herald spring’s coming.
During Lent, we, too, remember and wait for the Light to pierce those clouds. Little seeds, he is coming!
Little Seed: A Life
Callie Grant; Suzanne Etienne (2014)