The road ends, but the journey continues...

Seed Quote, by Hope Jahren

Quote symbolA seed knows how to wait.

Most seeds wait for at least a year before starting to grow; a cherry seed can wait for a hundred years with no problem. What exactly each seed is waiting for is known only to that seed…

A seed is alive while it waits.

Every acorn on the ground is just as alive as the three-hundred-year-old oak tree that towers over it…they are both just waiting…the seed is waiting to flourish while the tree is only waiting to die.

When you are in the forest, for every tree that you see, there are at least a hundred trees waiting in the soil, alive and fervently wishing to be.

Each beginning is the end of a waiting.

We are each given exactly one chance to be. Each of us is both impossible and inevitable. Every replete tree was first a seed that waited.

From: Lab Girl, by Hope Jahren


  1. Robin O Cochran

    I really could dig into this meaning, Laura. The quote is timely for the season with acorns, maple “keys” my grandkids make helicopters out of and sunflower seeds.
    It took me awhile to visit, Laura. I’m so glad you had this, waiting for me to read.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Very sweet comment, Robin. Thanks for stopping by…

  2. Dei

    Lord knows, I needed to see this today.

  3. Jane Chesebrough

    I am reminding myself to be patient concerning upcoming projects, that there needs to be some planning as well as time just to wait. Very inspiring story and thank you for passing it along.

    • laura bruno lilly

      As a photographer of nature, I thought you might like it!

  4. Andy

    Saw this, thought you might like it:
    I had tended to view waiting as mere passivity. When I looked it up in my dictionary however, I found that the words passive and passion come from the same Latin root, pati, which means “to endure.” Waiting is thus both passive and passionate. It’s a vibrant, contemplative work. It means descending into self, into God, into the deeper labyrinths of prayer. It involves listening to disinherited voices within, facing the wounded holes in the soul, the denied and undiscovered, the places one lives falsely. It means struggling with the vision of who we really are in God and molding the courage to live that vision.
    SUE MONK KIDD, When The Heart Waits

    • laura bruno lilly

      Excellent expansion on the seed quote…helps fill the gaps I felt on the ‘while the tree is only waiting to die’ portion of the quote. Thank you for bringing this here, Andy.

  5. Andrea Stephenson

    I read this book very recently Laura and loved it – this was one of the quotes I wrote down from it!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Too cool, Andrea!

  6. Anna Scott Graham

    Simply beautiful, and just what I needed to be reminded of. Funnily enough, we just got back from a few days in the Redwoods. Hee hee, plenty of trees and seeds there!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Those Redwoods wear their age well…

  7. Sue Ranscht

    Waiting to begin, waiting to become, waiting to be… I like to believe that after that waiting is over, we spend our lives doing so much more than just waiting to die.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Agreed…that was one part of the quote that snagged at me: “while the tree is only waiting to die” But in light of the whole, it sums up where I’m at right now.

  8. Ken Chawkin

    Lovely. Reminds me of the poem, B.C., by William Stafford

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Ken, I enjoyed the link…the poem reflects another aspect of the wisdom of the seed quote: that of dispelling the myth that science, God, wonder and inquiry are mutually exclusive.

  9. Aquileana

    Beautfiul…. It truly resonated with me … 😉

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you for stopping by!
      And with that beauty, there is a subtle ‘plug’ for the relevance of science & inquiry in everyday life within Hope’s entire book.

  10. Deborah

    Lovely, and just what i needed to hear as I spent the morning thinking about the novel I put aside, still waiting to be born.

    • laura bruno lilly

      “Still waiting to be born…”
      Love it, Deborah!

  11. Jennie Fitzkee

    Perfect, Laura. Just perfect.

    • laura bruno lilly

      thank you, teacher…

  12. L. Marie

    Oh my word! Were you reading my journal? I have had a very, very difficult time waiting, particularly on God. And I was debating on listening to a podcast sermon entitled “The Seed Is On Schedule.” And here you are talking about seeds and waiting.
    I guess that’s my answer.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh dear Linda…we are soul mates, yes?

    • Jill Weatherholt

      You’ve both read my journal! Great post, Laura!

      • laura bruno lilly

        HA! I’ll never tell…
        Have a peaceful weekend, Jill and all the best to your folks, too.

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