About four years ago, we were living in a rented apartment, dreaming of the house and land we really wanted to be on, but not sure how we were going to get there, financially or otherwise. We had a whole list of things we imagined ourselves growing and developing “on our land” (fruit trees, a garden, an art studio, etc.) but at that stage, no place to plant them and begin. So as a first step, I decided to start growing the trees and garden that I knew we would one day want to plant there. I figured if I started the orchard first (even in pots), it might help lead us to the land we would eventually need to grow them on. So I began gathering seedling fruit trees from the market, growing veggies in boxes, and when I had a great mango or avocado (or lemon or cherry), I’d chuck the seed into a pot of soil as well. Over the coming months, our baby orchard grew on the back patio of our apartment until it was almost overflowing and each time we watered or added to it, it felt like we were also adding to the energy of our dream.
Looking back now I can see that this simple action initiated a whole string of conversations and events that ultimately lead us to our new home on fertile land here in the hills of northern New South Wales, Australia… and by the time we moved onto our new property last May, we had literally gathered an entire moving truck full of sapling fruit trees and other plants, patiently waiting for me to fulfill a promise to put them in the ground! A year after moving in – we picked (and ate!) our first handful of strawberry guavas from the first of these trees to bare fruit since being planted here. A very sweet (literally) and magic moment of fruition. We are home.
All Great Deeds Begin as Seeds
There’s a moment when a seed that has been resting dormant in the ground first cracks open to throw its first shoot or tiny root. It is a subtle moment, often unnoticed, but it is very significant. A birthing moment. Months or even years may pass before this seed grows into full form, but it is here in this moment that we get our first glimpse of what this plant or tree will one day become. In life, sometimes we catch a glimpse of future possibilities when seedling dreams first open in the garden of our experience… It may be just a fleeting instant or whispered vision, but in that moment a pulse of clarity strikes at the very core of our being. It’s that spark of inspiration when a future dancer watches her first stage performance; when a one-day pro surfer stands up on his first wave; when two life partners share their first moment of eye contact or a child living in poverty decides to his core that he will give his future family a different life. This is just the very beginning, but looking back, we will recognize this moment as a defining one – one in which a dream seed was first planted in the soil of our reality.
If we think about it, virtually every great accomplishment or achievement in the world started as the seedling of a dream. Every great story written, every world record broken. Every private business launched or global movement catalysed started as an impulse, idea or vision inside of the heart of someone who honored the pulse of that dream enough to nurture and plant it into the world with their actions. Like the seedlings of our garden which may start their life in small pots on a protected place on our front porch (safe from the wind, heavy rains and harsh aspects of the elements), there are times when our dreams must incubate inside our hearts and minds (safe from the expectations and opinions of the world around us). But just like the seedling plant, whose roots will eventually become bound and restricted inside its little pot unless we plant it into the soil of our garden, there also comes a time when, in order for our dreams to survive and bear fruit, we must plant them into the garden of our life.
The Soil of the Earth is Ripe for Planting
It’s a big time on the planet, where old structures and paradigms are breaking down in virtually every arena of existence and sometimes it feels like the soil of life on Earth is churning. In such times, it can be tempting to restrict our visions – to hold back and cling to what is comfortable, safe and known. To rationalize that perhaps we should save our bigger dreams – the ones we secretly feel most inspired about – for another day. Save them for a more stable time, when the dust has settled, when conditions are just right and all our ducks are in a row… But life’s churning soil makes fertile ground for new possibilities, and the truth is there has never been a better or more important time to cultivate the power of our dreams. I’d go so far as to say that the future of our planet may very well depend upon it. And we each have golden, essential seeds of dreams living inside of us. Dreams which are born from our unique talents and gifts, without which the great garden of life will never be complete. Amidst the pressures of modern life, it’s easy to think that the conditions need to be right in order for us to start. And in truth, every seedling does have its season… But in my experience sometimes the simple act of starting is what makes the conditions right.