By Sister Regina Siegfried, ASC

Perhaps it’s my Shaw neighborhood’s proximity to the Missouri Botanical Garden, or maybe it’s Tower Grove Park’s historic greenness, or the neighborhood streets lined with tall, stately trees. Whatever the reason, Shaw teems with gardeners.

cosmos-flower-1336714A few weeks ago, a small pocket garden right around the corner from our house hosted an annual plant swap. I had a rich harvest of orange cosmos seeds from last year, so I packaged them and walked them over to the garden full of Shaw residents, swapping, exchanging, and trading plants.  Conversation was lively and informative; we know our plants and we’re willing to share and learn. About 400 plants changed hands and homes.

Some cosmos flowers are delicate shades of lavender, pink and white. While I appreciate their pastel beauty, I like the brilliant small suns of orange cosmos. Cosmos are hearty and study plants, despite their fragile appearance.

My cosmos seeds, a small contribution to a larger endeavor, have their own history. I collected the original seeds many years ago from cosmos plants at the Adorers’ center and motherhouse in Ruma, Ill. A splash of Ruma color found a home in an urban garden.

Every tag-end of summer, I collect seeds and give them to neighbors on my block. Along with watching monarch caterpillars, gathering the cosmos seeds is a cherished contemplative practice. The dozen small packets of seeds now have found homes all over Shaw. I’ll be delighted to see their orange brilliance dotting neighborhood yards.

Our lives are cosmos seeds, rich in history, connections, and sharing. Seeds, home to that spark of divine life, root in many gardens to scatter beauty and joy. We participate in the abundance of nature when we give ourselves away as seeds of joy and color to brighten and enrich other gardens.

How about you?

  • Where are the seeds of your life sown to take root?
  • What colors and plants speak to your spirit and why?
  • How do you scatter cosmos flowers of joy and grace?
  • What seeds of life do you give away?