It is the size of a pea, and crisp green. Feel it in your fingers: the packed potential within its smooth borders; the tight, pinprick tip—that searching extension of sentience. Put it into the earth with me. Black mineral loam, juicy, flecked with bits of organic energy; arms from underground, waiting for our baby seed. Let’s spend a few weeks with it underground. Plant the seed in your imagination. Earth presses up against it; caressing it . . . it draws the earth into itself. The soil offers its minerals to the seed. Seed and soil flowing into one another. 

A fundamental law of nature: for the right mate, all precincts are porous. Moisture pierces the seed’s green skin, much to its joy. Sun bakes through the soil, heats the love inside our seed. Carbon dioxide from the air clicks into another mode inside the seed, wakes up newly when it wanders within and meets the family of factors gathered there. Who’s in charge here? Is the seed co-opting its environment? Is the outside world invading the world inside our seed? There is a party going on inside there. An orgy. Nobody knows any better. All of nature is naked inside that seed; elements are uniting, reconfiguring, something new is arising. 

It’s all coming together—upside down and inside out. 

The seed can be looked at in and of itself. Or it can be seen as a point in a process. Sitting quietly, breathing, inside and outside interpenetrating, we come up against similar wonderings. Where does one thing end and another begin? Contemplation involves slowing the mind down, taking it into the breath, until it manifests the natural rhythms of life itself, and no longer needs to grasp at the fruit of mental energy; you are down in the soil where thoughts grow, arise, die away. The foundation. The source. Giving rise to the ten thousand things, the whole manifest universe. I often contemplate the seed of our cosmos, which scientists tell us was very small and dense and hot: we were all packed in there together back in the day. Our minds and genitals and bank accounts and families were fused as one. Then there was an explosion, and we were torn apart. Our basic DNA is stardust, cosmologists tell us. We then grew arms and eardrums to connect once again; blood gurgled up to lubricate our movements; we grew feet to walk toward each other; retinas to take each other in; fingers to pick lice from each others’ coats of hair, and to slide rings onto one another. 

We are designed to come back together once more, and we all exploded outward way back when so that we could begin the long, slow climb back into each other’s arms. Without distance, without being apart, we could never then become one. If we were still packed together in that infinitesimally dense cosmic seed, where your lung was my hand and my thoughts were your blood, we could never bear witness to oneness, which is a beautiful thing and deserves an audience. Things flow into each other and back to themselves, gaining themselves through the other and the other through themselves. It’s natural. Everything falls into its proper place after spending some time apart. “We just fit together,” a female lover told me years ago. “It’s perfect.” We had just made love, which is to say we had forgotten ourselves by way of each other, as only two young souls filled to bursting with themselves can. 

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