When I read this quote by Robert Louis Stevenson, it resonated with me like a struck bell. It stopped me in my tracks. Maybe it is because I live in a farming community (Lancaster County, PA). Maybe because I have been salivating over seed catalogs all spring, and now it is finally time to plant. Maybe it is because I am a runner.
Photo by Michael Foster from Pexels
As runners, we are constantly planting seeds for tomorrow. Every time we do a training run, or a track work out, every time we do yoga to loosen up those tight muscles or strength train to increase the power in our legs, or an ab workout to stabilize our core, we are planting seeds, so that we can reap the benefits sometime in the future.
Even at my age, I am planting seeds to try to get faster, or at least slow down my rate of slowing down.
Two years ago, a friend asked me if I would do track workouts with her once a week in the early morning. This was not a time to socialize; it was dark, we ran at different speeds and did different interval distances. I could not have chatted even if I wanted to. The exertion was too great. We kept each other company. The track is in an isolated spot, and it would have been spooky running there by yourself in the dark. We ran endless circles around that dark track, breathing hard with the effort, planting seeds for the future.
I reaped an abundant harvest later that fall when I ran two half marathons faster than I had run in the past five years and a 5k within 10 seconds of my PR at an age when I was long past PRs.
Stevenson (obviously) did not have running in mind when he wrote the quote. We plant seeds in other, more salient aspects of our lives.
We plant seeds in our friendships when we treat each other with courtesy and respect. When we promptly respond to friends’ texts and emails, when we look each other in the eye while speaking, signalling undivided attention, when we (kindly) tell each other only the truth, and when we help a friend who is down to rise, we are planting seeds.
We plant seeds with our children (and grandchildren) when we are consistent and kind towards them. Our harvest is realized after years of patiently and faithfully tending those seeds when our children grow up to be independent, responsible and thoughtful people who treat their children with consistency and kindness.
We plant seeds with our spouses or significant others when we are honest, compassionate and attentive. By showing our loved ones how much they are valued and appreciated, we sow the seeds of harmony and accord in our relationships. We plant seeds when we build our partners up, rather than tearing them down.
Finally, we sow seeds of faith. We read sacred texts, have thoughtful discussions and prayerfully meditate to initiate and nurture our spiritual lives. Many of us are familiar with the verse from Matthew 17, where Jesus tells his disciples that even faith as small as a mustard seed is enough to move mountains.
After a long, cold and cruelly extended winter, spring is finally here. Time to tend to our gardens. What seeds are you planting?
I am linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for their Weekly Wrap. Join me there for some fabulous fitness blogs! I am also linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday 5. If you like running and fitness blogs, check them out here!
I am linking up with Holley Gerth for Coffee for Your Heart. I am also linking up with Char at Trekking Thru. Check out some moving inspirational blogs here and with Teaching What Is Good for their Tuesday Link-up.