Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Instincts

Plants are instinctual.  They don't know rationalization or compromise...or fear.  When they follow their instincts, they survive, they thrive.

Most seeds go through a period of hibernation or dormancy.

Wikipedia defines seed hibernation this way:

"The ability of a seed to preserve itself without germination when there is a lack of things essential to its development (water, sunlight, nutrients, etc.) or in harsh conditions (extreme cold, extreme heat, hard ground, etc.). There is no specific time limit in which a seed may hibernate; some seeds found in the Arctic grew after an estimated 10,000 years."

One of the most fascinating examples of seed hibernation is found in the pines, woody plants and wildflower seeds that have adapted over the years so that only the heat of fire can wake their seeds from hibernation.  This amazing adaptation guarantees the continuation of a species after a forest fire and shows the wondrous tenacity of plants to endure. 

Something important to remember is that the length of hibernation has no bearing on the beauty that will emerge when the time is right.


At the appropriate time, the environment tells the seed it's time to wake up.  When the seed gets the message it does just that.  It doesn't consider waking up or decide to do it later.  It isn't afraid to wake up.  Seeds don't figure maybe they can manage on their own without help.  Seeds will lose the opportunity if they don't follow their instincts at the appropriate moment.  For the plant, there is a indispensable relationship its instincts and its ability to flourish.  The same can be said for us.  

When it's time, the little sprout struggles to break through the shell of the seed case, and then more struggling to push up through the earth. As it is with the fire-- that seems burning and devastating-- being the very thing that opens the seed to life, so it is the very struggle the sprout endures to get to the surface that makes it strong enough to begin to live. 

So, I think it's interesting that no one says, "Be aware of your instincts" or "Consider your instincts." They always say, "Follow your instincts."  The phrase demands action.

Here is what I've gathered from looking at this plant habit...
1. Hibernation is important and there is no reason to come out too early.
2. It could be the fire of life that wakes you up.
3. If you are healthy seed or a healthy person for that matter, following your instincts is the way to live abundantly.

When our instincts appear, it seems we should take a lesson from the plants and go confidently in their wake.

2 comments:

  1. Wow Life is really like a seed lost along the path of life,if we don't believe in ourself we will never sprout and have the chance to see the sunshine and for others to see the beauty that we have to offer.

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  2. Aw, very sweet and insightful. Thanks Dad, keep the comments coming.

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