The Gentle Art of Restoration

Ecology concept. Rising sprout on dry ground.

A few months ago I happened upon an article about a seed that had been dormant for around 2000 years, yet when nurtured and tended to, produced a tree.

That seed, the oldest ever known to produce a young tree, was found during an archaeological excavation at King Herod’s palace on Mount Masada, near the Dead Sea in the mid 1970’s. The seed was stored along with other finds from the dig.

Thirty years later, Dr. Sarah Sallon, a pediatrician and researcher, got word of the stored seeds. Interested in the medicinal uses of ancient plants, Sallon asked if she could have some seeds. She was given 3 seeds.

Dr. Sallon then took the three seeds to a botanist, Elaine Solowey, who specializes in tending rare or near-extinct plants back to life. When she received the seeds, she was less than optimistic about their future growth. The first thing Solowey did was to soak the seeds is warm water, and then added gibberellic acid, a potent growth hormone used to induce germination in reluctant seeds. She tended to them daily. Much to her surprise 5 weeks later one pale yellow-green sprout began to show through the soil. The second sprout soon appeared, it looked stronger than the first. Then a third sprout burst through, looking healthy.

I was struck by the first step the botanist took…she soaked them in warm water. Such a gentle step to begin restoration! She then nurtured them daily and patiently waited the outcome.

There are parts of our souls, our lives, relationships, and physical being that may be yearning to be revived. Maybe there is a hobby that has gone by the wayside, is it time to bring it back? Is there a relationship that might be rekindled? Maybe there is dream that was put aside, or a longing to reconnect with nature in some way.

Where is the yearning for restoration in your life? What is a gentle way to begin the process of revitalization?

For furthepalm dater reading on the seed.

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