A maple seed clung desperately to his tree, as the autumn wind pulled on him day after day. He grew increasingly anxious as seeds around him were ripped off and carried away. Squirrels terrified him as they leapt from branch to branch, snatching some of his neighbors as snacks.
“I shall be killed!” he wailed.
A breeze swirled around him, “Let go and you’ll be okay.”
“If I let go I’ll die!”
“Yes,” it whispered, puffing through the branches.
In the end, the maple seed’s grip failed and he surrendered himself to the forest floor.
“Help …” Leaves waved at him as he spun to the ground.
The tree dropped her leaves and buried him. Animals trampled him. The ground gripped him and pulled him deep as his world grew dark and quiet. Birds no longer sang to him. The wind no longer stroked him. Rain filled every open space, snuffing out the air. He soaked in the mud until he bloated and swelled.
The ground grew colder as winter pierced the forest floor. As it froze, the earth around him expanded and pressed against his distended body. Cut off from light he lay dying.
By spring, cracks had breached his seed coat in the warming thaw; what had once protected the life within him lay disintegrated and in pieces around him. The seed was becoming little different that the dirt that buried him.
But then, he felt something stir within him. Pushing aside the last vestiges of his seed coat and pressing against the resisting earth, a burgeoning root drove its way out of his innermost being. It forced its way downward; shoving aside and then embracing the very particles of dirt that had imprisoned him.
A shoot broke out from him and thrust its way upward; slicing the ground, probing for light … aching for light. Though tender enough to be crushed by a baby’s footfall, the blade drove its way relentlessly through dirt and rock.
One early dawn, the seed’s slim blade of green met a beam of sunlight. Birds sang to him again. Overhead, the maple tree clapped her hands. Once more the wind caressed him and welcomed him home.
“Where were you while I was in the dark?” he wept.
“I never left,” the wind answered.
“It was hard.”
“I died alone.”
“Not alone, but yes. You died.”
“But … I’m alive.”
“And now you have … ?”
“And soon, branches, leaves, bark and your own seeds. Now you will always be able to find water, and your head will be above the squirrels’ heads before many seasons are done. You will feed many creatures, and not only live long yourself, but produce more life.”
It was true. The seed had died. Yet, somewhere in the dark and silent soil, what he was had been swallowed up by what he had become.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24 NASB
Copyright © 2017 Terry Murphy. Used by permission.