Seeds, Bulbs and Grains of Truth

Half a life time ago we lived in southern Spain for several years. By the end of winter, milk cows had grazed the pasture grass to patchy nubbins. Spring rains and warmer days brought forth an explosion of once dormant growth across the fields. The cows contentedly grazed on emerald green grasses, yellow flowering oxalis, and in some pastures – wild garlic.  Springtime brought forth a curious dairy product in the local mercados – garlic-flavored milk. Let’s just say it never became an acquired taste in our family.

Each blade of grass began as a seed. Each wild garlic bloom began as a short, modified, underground stem. Each one pushing up through the earth at the season’s invitation; each growing as intended.  But they weren’t really that compatible when combined as a flavor for the local milk. This long ago memory, that still mildly turns my stomach when I recall it, got me to thinking about the seeds and bulbs germinating in the fertile soil of my head and heart.  And wondering if there are some things  pasturing together that aren’t so compatible.

We talked about this a few weeks ago at The Lighthouse in terms of negative self-talk and the importance of teasing out the grain of truth in a negative comment so that a more truthful statement could be rewritten and incorporated in one’s belief system. A different kind of grain of truth sprouted for me this last week as an occasion for discernment. When a friend inquired about something I was doing, it gave me the opportunity to think through what I was doing, and what I was thinking about doing. I realized through our conversation that I was considering doing two good things, but that they weren’t likely to be compatible in the way I hoped. I was about to plant wild garlic in my milk-producing pasture.  Nothing wrong with wild garlic. It just didn’t belong in that particular pasture if I wanted to produce flavorful milk others would enjoy drinking.

What was interesting to me was that my friend didn’t ask the specific question that prompted a moment of discernment. In the midst of her inquiry, a grain of truth merely sprouted and grew so that I was able to harvest its wisdom. I appreciate having others help me tend my pasture – even if they don’t necessarily know they’re helping. 

What about the seeds and bulbs in your pasture? Are there good things growing together that aren’t necessarily compatible with what you hope to grow? What would you identify as some “incompatibles?” Do you have others who help you tend your pasture? Or others who have or might encourage a grain of truth to sprout and grow within you?If you were to draw a picture of your plants and pasture, what would it look like?

Look forward to your comments each week.

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5 comments to Seeds, Bulbs and Grains of Truth

  • Incompatibles? How about believing that a talent could be used by only one person in a household? I don’t know why I thought that, but because my sister was artistic I didn’t believe I could have much talent in that field because duplicating the talent in the same family was incompatible, but I loved to draw and paint. Today, my desire to create and those thoughts are not in the same garden at all.
    One thing I have struggled with in the artistic field is ‘what is my style?’ I like detail, but I also like watercolor and was told many times that those two things did not go together. So I would try to paint very loosely in watercolor, but that just wasn’t my style. I tried switching to oils and acrylics, and although I liked the feel of the paint, I just didn’t find that magic that watercolor holds for me. So I got out my watercolors again and painted very small 2″ x 3″ paintings with detail.
    Then I met a new friend at “Art in the Park” in Le Mars last year. We both had booths within a few feet of each other and both painted miniature watercolors. She also did large paintings with great detail and I knew I had found my mentor. We became fast friends right there in the park and have stayed close ever since. In fact, she teaches watercolor classes so I signed up. What a relief it was to find that my ‘incompatibles’ were actually very compatible. What had been incompatible were my aspirations for watercolor and my knowledge of the medium. Now they blend beautifully, and don’t taste anything like garlic-milk.

  • Terrific post! Made me think of seemingly incompatible things that must live in our garden like grace and truth. Garlic milk sounds revolting, (didn’t think there was anything I wouldn’t like with garlic!), yet there are some things that seep into each other that are good. Someone once said; grace + truth over time = maturity.

  • Aahmes Overton

    Yes – like “tough” and “love.” – Aahmes

  • Robin Rice

    Randi! I had the same thing happen, my family would laugh and say I was the tomboy, my sister the artist. How nice to grow up and realize I could be an artist too.

    Something has proven emotionally incompatible for me is the concept of being accomplished and being relaxed and peaceful. If I am not making written lists of all I MUST accomplish, then I am making mental lists. I am currently working hard to just let it be, but even that becomes ironic, working hard to relax. My hope: To get up each day and approach that day as it’s own entity, no pressure for the rest of the week, the rest of the month, the rest of my life. Just go to bed happy, that’s all I really want.

    xx Robin Martinez Rice

  • Deanna J Bowling

    When this “piece” first came to me this morning, I felt a sort of “rush”. Hopefully, I have calmed down enough now to write this out coherently.

    A long time friend of mine speaks frequently to two guides that he judges how he is living his life by. One being living congruently, and the other being aware of other’s needs. His first was a question he asked of himself and everyone else he knew, “Are you living your life congruently?” The other was a rule-of-thumb he followed — when one person voiced a general concern, he would listen but not necessarily act upon it immediately; if a second person voiced the same general concern, he would “store it in the front of his mind”; if a third person would speak to the same general concern, then it was time for action.

    Well, the subject of “compatibility”/”congruency” has come up three times in the last few days, so I want to share what is going on with me.

    I’ve had great spans of time in my life when I was either sick emotionally and/or physically. I don’t know about (you) but when I get sick I have a tendency to withdraw from others, and when approached during the time I am withdrawn, act similarly to a wounded animal – striking out. I in my unfortunately many times of intense needs to protect myself, didn’t realize how my behavior was affecting others, until just recently.

    Currently three instances of people who are in “intense pain and striking out like a wounded animals” have come up, one in the news, one in a movie that I tried unsuccessfully to watch, and one within my “family”. Not being able to help in any of these situations has led me to question how and what I am doing in my life, and is what I am doing compatible with what I care about. I don’t have any answers to these questions, but I am “storing away what I am hearing in the front of my mind”.


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