“Is that a…”
“A seed? Yes, yes it is”
“What do I do with it?”
“You go out there, plant it, and let it grow”
“That’s all? Well, that’s easy!”
“Not exactly. It is important that you are patient.”
“I know that…it’s not like the seed will grow into a plant overnight.”
He carried her on his shoulder as they made their way to the garden. “It’s not only that,” He said looking at her with soft eyes. “You have to be patient with how it grows. It may not always look right, and there would be a lot of reasons to give up on it, but you have to trust me when I say let it grow.”
Ariya furrowed her brows then she rested her head on his and wrapped her arms around his neck. They walked into a vast field with several plots of land. Ariya lifted her head. The land was as far as her eyes could see. It was also divided up into several sections. Some bare, some covered with grass and flowers.
“Here we are!” The king said as he gently dropped Ariya on warm, moist soil. “This is your land.”
She looked around her, thumping her feet left and right into the soil. The soil was dark and rich.
“Do you have your seed?”
“Yes! Right here!”
“Okay, you know what to do”
“Yep! Grow the seed!”
Ariya quickly dug a hole into the soil, placed the seed in it, and then covered it up. “Easy!” she laughed.
But the King said nothing. She couldn’t see him anymore. “My lord?!” she exclaimed.
He was gone.
Ariya sat down on the ground and observed her surroundings. A girl had just planted five seeds on a plot of land next to her. Across, there was a beautiful garden covered with swan river daisies. There were farmers all over the fields planting, plowing, and watering their garden.
“That hard, huh?” she cleverly mocked and then laid her head where she had planted her seed and fell asleep.
The next morning, Ariya felt the gentle tickle of a feather in her ear. She slowly opened her eyes. The girl on the plot of land next to her was sobbing uncontrollably. Ariya quickly rose her head. “What’s wrong?” she asked. The girl ignored her as she kicked violently at the soil on her plot of land.
Ariya grew irritated. “What’s wrong?!” she insisted.
“My plant didn’t grow!” the girl screamed.
Ariya rolled her eyes. “Well, of course not. That’s not how it works. You have to be patient”
The girl glared at Ariya’s feet angrily. Ariya followed her gaze to see a beautiful green plant sprouting beside her feet.
“My plant!! It grew! Woohoo!!!” She kneeled in front of it smiling from ear to ear. It was marvelous in her eyes.
The girl sulked next to her and Ariya turned her attention back to her “You had five seeds. It’s probably going to take a little longer. Just be patient”
Years grew by and the girl next to her, her name was Rebecca, had a garden blooming with flowers. She watered it every day, and never took her eyes off it. Ariya looked at Rebecca’s garden in awe! She was happy for her! Ariya’s plant had grown tall too! It was long and beautiful, but there was nothing else to it. She couldn’t help but feel that if she had more seeds like Rebecca she would have more flowers in her garden. The other farmers on the land were delighted with their plants. One man, Jacob, had magnolias so beautiful, they changed into beautiful hues of violet under the moonlight. Another woman, Robin, had tulips that grew golden petals.
Ariya remembered when Robin first came to the land, her soil was dry, rocky, and bare. Now, she had golden petals on her tulips.
Months later, after getting frustrated with her plant, Ariya forcefully plucked her plant from the soil. All but one root tore out. She tugged and pulled at the last root, but it wouldn’t budge. Right when she was about to give up, her hand hit something hard. She brushed the soil that was laying over the hard object to find her seed. “Why was it still there?!” she wondered. Over to her left, the King was passing by. Ariya jumped to her feet, “My Lord, you gave me a dead seed!” she yelled. “It does nothing! Give me a seed like Robin! I want to make golden petals like her.”
“Let your seed grow Ariya,” the King responded gently.
Days grew by, and Ariya resorted to carving her seed to look like Robin’s. You see, Robin’s seed was yellow and shaped like a heart and Ariya thought that if she copied the look of Robin’s seed she too could grow golden petals.
It worked! Soon Ariya grew golden petals like Robin. Nearby, her first plant had shriveled. It made her sad that it did, but she was too excited about her golden tulips.
Several weeks passed and Ariya grew bored with her tulips. When the sunlight spread over Robin’s tulips, they sparkled and dazzled under the light, but Ariya’s golden plant reflected nothing.
One day, Ariya asked the King why her golden plant didn’t dazzle in the light like Robin’s.
“Because it’s not your seed nor your soil,” he responded. “People have different talents and different conditions in which their talents grow. Your seed would never look like anyone else’s. You have to be more interested in seeing what your seed could become. Love it for what it is and what stage it is in and that love will let it grow. Your seed never grew, Ariya, because you stopped watering it.”
“That’s not true!” she retaliated. “I watered that seed every day. I tried so hard and this is my lot”
“You stopped watering it when you stopped loving it,” the King said. “Be filled with passion for what is yours, be relentless and determined to see it out to what it can become. You weakened the plant when you started expecting it to look like everyone else’s.
I gave you all seeds. Some a lot, and others, like you, only one. I also gave you different soil conditions. Robin’s was bare and dry and yours was rich. You all had different conditions but the same instruction…LET IT GROW. That means despite what it looks like or what it seems like, you believe in what is and let it grow”
Ariya turned back to her plant. It was a dry withered shrub now. The roots she had plucked earlier were still lying like skeletons across her soil.
“Oh God, is it not too late? Where do I start?” she started to cry.
“As long as your heart continues to beat it is never too late,” He smiled. “Follow your beating heart, you have to trust that it knows where to start, where to go, and it will always have all the love you need to keep going”
Somehow in Ariya’s heart, she believed that her plant will grow to be as tall as the sky, and it was true, for Ariya would come to grow the first and tallest tree in the land.
Ariya gently placed the roots back in the soil and watered it every day. She was determined to fight any challenges she faced along the way, learning from every mistake and keeping her eyes and heart on fulfilling her dreams.
The roots of Ariya’s tree grew so deep and so wide that it stretched across the vast land and inspired and help grow many other plants for others. Her tree would protect many fields on the land from soil erosion by holding off some of the rainwater on its leaves during a storm. Its leaves would also provide enough shade to protect other gardens from adverse weather conditions like a very hot sun, wind, and rain.
Ariya’s tree was so tall and majestic that its crown disappeared into the heavens and, once again, it was marvelous in her eyes.
Let it Grow
We all have seeds of greatness inside us. As I continue to search for the answers to what I was created for, I wrote this story to encourage all struggling with mediocrity and remind those looking for direction to always follow their heart. This story was inspired by a bible verse my mother taught me about investing in our talents.