The Complexity In Simple Tasks
Why is it that simple tasks tend to offer the most satisfaction, and yet have an intense complexity?
Last week the missus had a notion of growing tomatoes in the kitchen window, so out she went and bought a packet of tomato seeds.
Two years ago we grew tomatoes indoors quite successfully, but the plants got out of control. As noobs generally do stupid things, I pruned them back too far and they died.
Anyway, my mot paid €5 for the seeds.
“Would you not just have opened a tomato and taken the seeds from it?” I asked her. “I never thought of that”, she said.
We took the 4 extremely high-grade tomato seeds from the packet and planted them in the window box together, watered them and waited.
A couple days later I took a tomato from the fridge, split it open, took the gooey seeds out onto my finger and flicked them into the dirt.
There must have been about 15 seeds altogether and I just left them where the fell.
Let’s see how these get on compared to the shop bought seeds, I thought.
Signs Of Life
I’ve been watering them daily, plucking out invaders, and watching for progress. The shop bought ones are growing faster it seems, than the ones I took directly from the fruit.
Then the seeds began to sprout.
One at a time the emerged from the soil, 18 of them now, all at varying degrees of growth. I'll need to move them into individual pots soon.
The shop bought seeds sat in the darkness of the seed packet for god knows how long. Then water, soil, sunlight, and bam!
It’s amazing, isn’t it?
Although we got tons of baby tomatoes last time, we could have done a little more ground work on the process, pruned the plats early on and encouraged better growth.
Previous “experience” aside, I have to admit I'm just winging it here. I know feck all about growing tomatoes.
Come to think of it, nobody really knows anything about growing tomatoes.
The tomatoes do all that by themselves. We just decide to get involved in the process, facilitate it you might say, and maybe have a degree of influence.
A Simple Task, A Complex Process
I got thinking about how such a simple task as planting seeds allows such a complex sequence to start.
Imagine the complexity of physical growth; to me, it seems like the entire universe is in perpetual motion, continually recycling and making more of itself.
Take a tiny seed, one that could sit in the dark for a very long time, drop it into the soil and something magical happens.
What is that? How does all that occur?
Don't quote me scientific processes, because they're just far too inadequate at explaining how life occurs.
The mechanics of growth just don't provide me the right information. Mechanics by their nature, the Newtonian idea of things, are clumsy.
Whatever it is that happens the seed, it starts to expand and does something that we call, growing.
From the soil, from the air, from its environment, it takes what it needs and becomes more. We do it too, we're just not conscious of it in everyday life.
We are asleep to it.
Does Everything Already Exist?
The truth of the matter for me, is that this complex sequence of things exists already in potential, waiting for the conditions to be right.
When we follow the rhythm, go with the flow of it then we get to watch it happen at its most remarkable.
In Zen, it's called Zíran – That which comes of itself.
It appears that this thing is happening all the time, everywhere and we are simply watching it all. You could say we evoke tomatoes from the field of infinite potential.
It all happens regardless, and it gets me thinking whether or not our lives are any different.
You know, work, relationships, happiness, sadness, money, success and so on. How much of all that do we actually have control over?
Maybe none of it. Maybe it's happening and we're just watching.