How do you respond to adversity? Once you read about the Jack Pine, you’ll be reminded of your seeds of greatness!
THE SEED OF THE JACK PINE from “Meditations of the Heart” by Howard Thurman
In response to a letter of inquiry addressed to a Canadian forester concerning the jack pine which abounds in the British Columbia, the following statement was received:
“Essentially, you are correct when you say that jack pine cones require artificial heat to release the seeds from the cone. The cones often remain closed for years, the seeds retaining their viability.
In the interior of the province, the cones which have dropped to the ground will open at least partly with the help of the sun’s reflected heat. However, the establishment of the majority of our jack pine stands has undoubtedly been established following forest fires. Seldom do the cones release their seed while on the tree.”
The seed of the jack pine will not be given up by the cone unless the cone itself is subjected to sustained and concentrated heat. The forest fire sweeps all before and there remain but the charred reminders of a former growth and a former beauty. It is then in the midst of the ashes that the secret of the cone is exposed.
The tender seed finds the stirring of life deep within itself – and what is deepest in the seed reaches out to what is deepest in life. The result? A tender shoot, gentle roots, until; at last, there stands triumphant against the sky the majestic glory of the jack pine.
It is not to far afield to suggest that there are things deep within the human spirit that are firmly imbedded, dormant, latent and inactive. These things are always thought they may be destructive rather than creative. But they remain until our lives are swept by the forest fire: It may be some mindless tragedy, some violent disclosure of human depravity or some moment of agony in which the whole country or nation may be involved. The experience releases something that has been locked up within all through the years. If it be something that calls to the deepest things in life, we may , like the jack pine, grow tall and straight against the sky.