The Breakthrough

When I was a child, a common science assignment would be to set kidney beans in varying environments to determine the appropriate conditions for growth. As such, one seed would be set in the dark, another would be deprived of water. The third seed, though, the control seed, would be placed in growth-friendly conditions – appropriate soil, adequate water and, most importantly, would be placed where it would be exposed to adequate levels of light.

As the days went by, I would faithfully water the plant, anxiously monitoring the soil, wondering when the plant would begin to break through the ground and expose the fruit of my efforts. Every day, I returned to the plant set in healthy / growth-friendly conditions. Every day, I returned to that plant, I would stare at the soil, straining my eyes to see that little shoot breaking through the soil. But, as they say, a watched pot never boils (or in this case, a watched seed never shoots), so, every day that I saw nothing, I would leave the plant pot dejected.

After a few uneventful visits to the plant pot, I would give in to wisdom and I would not go to the pot for a few days, or I would simply water the soil and leave, trying to convince myself that I was not concerned about when the shoot would break through the soil. Then, one day, I would go out to the plant and, to my sheer delight, I would see the little green hook poking through the soil. I would shriek in delight. I would do a little happy dance and then I would run back inside to my notebook to document the date and time of my discovery. Oh yeah…and then I would also take note of what was happening with the other seeds that had been set in less-than-appropriate conditions – NADA, NOTHING, ZIP.

Fast-forward to the current day, to my current age. I’m no longer in primary school. Today, I shriek in delight and do my happy dance. Today, I run inside to eagerly document my observation – my seedling has broken through the seed and has grown to the point that it’s showing through the soil. Today, I’m grateful for the breakthrough. I’m grateful for the seed that was set in appropriate conditions – in healthy soil, given adequate water and light – and for the shoot that has begun to spring from that seed.

In the early days, I was that eager and even impatient one, anxiously trekking to and fro the plant pot wondering when the shoot would break through. As time passed, I stopped visiting, trying to keep myself distracted. After a while, I would visit and water the soil just enough and would return inside, trying not to focus on the fact that I hadn’t begun to see anything yet. Now, finally, the hook has started poking through the soil. Well, the hook is all I need to draw me in in all hopefulness.

Now, I will continue to water that plant and watch it grow, documenting the unfurling of this new and healthy plant. Periodically, I will add additional nutrients. As it grows, I will need to transplant it, I’m sure of that. But, one step at a time. I’m thankful for what I now see and remain hopeful for what awaits me. And I know that hope does not disappoint.

Today I celebrate with love, peace and joy.

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