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Outside on this mid-winter day the snow has an icy crust. One wonders what lies beneath? In his book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, Mark Nepo provides a reminder that may be helpful, especially to those of us going through a dark time.

In nature, we are quietly offered countless models of how to give ourselves over to what appears dark and hopeless, but which ultimately is an awakening beyond our imagining. All around us, everything small and buried surrenders to a process that none of the buried parts can see. We call this process seeding and this innate surrender allows everything edible and fragrant to break ground into a life of light that we call spring.

As a seed buried in earth can’t imagine itself as an orchid or hyacinth, neither can a heart packed with hurt or a mind filmed over with despair imagine itself loved or at peace. The courage of the seed is that, once cracking, it cracks all the way. To move through the dark into blossom is the work of the soul.