Foragings: Seedling

 |  October 17, 2016

“Nature does nothing uselessly”- Aristotle
Foragings: Seedling

Foragings: Seedling
encaustic mixed media
6×6 inches
(will be at Lark and Key Gallery soon!)

The second piece in my Foragings series showcases the simple papery winged seedling or fruit that is formally called a samara. When I was little I called them “helicopters” and would toss them into the air over and over again to watch them spin to the ground. Depending on the wind, the structure of the samaras allows for flights of long distance. It is no coincidence that the ripening of the samaras occur when the wind picks up in autumn. The trees are shedding their leaves, but also sending out fruit and seedlings for spring. They travel the wind currents in the hopes of creating the next generation of trees wherever they may land.

Recently I have been pondering about how there are many lessons one can learn from nature. Today as I write this, I am asking myself- what is the message of the samara? The humble and tiny seed in general has long been used as a metaphor for new life, potential, creativity, and faith. The structure that surrounds the seed can be thought of in terms of trust and protection. The structure is also a well designed encasement, designed to ensure survival. As a person who creates, I was thinking about how the trees create hundreds of these seeds and then let them go. No judgement, no holding back. By giving, we receive more. Perhaps. And also, how do I find ways for my work and the intent behind my work to be received? Hmmmm.

As an adult now, I still find thy physical winged fruit as a fascinating object. Last year I made a page of sewn samaras in my book art piece “Collections”

blog post on “Collections”

Next time you find yourself outside and a breeze blows by and you are suddenly surrounded by twirling seedlings, I hope you’ll pause and remember the magic and wonder of childhood. And maybe think about the things and thoughts we create and let go into the world in the hopes that they will bear fruit and bring wonder themselves. I try to convince myself of this all the time. It is easy to get discouraged and wonder what the point of it all is. If falling twirling seeds can help remind me to keep on, why not?

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.” – George Washington Carver


  1. by Judy Shreve on October 17, 2016  12:04 pm Reply

    I love these pieces and your thoughts on nature. We used to call these seeds 'angel wings!' And we would collect them and sew them into necklaces!

    • by Bridgette Guerzon Mills on October 18, 2016  10:29 am Reply

      Angel wings! I never heard that one. I love that and that you'd sew them into necklaces. I should do that with my kids.

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