I carefully place seeds in a pot of soil, leaving it by the window sill. I look at the pot for the days that follow and notice how I can only see earthy soil. No visible signs of growth or sprouting.

I recall vividly how my 6th-grade science teacher spoke about germination. We were walked through how the temperature, light, and moisture conditions needed to be just right for the seed to wake up and sprout. Every seed type has specific requirements, and it's important to understand the kind of plants we are attempting to grow.

Sometimes, even healthy, viable seeds do not germinate. They enter seed dormancy, the seeds essentially go to sleep. Delaying sprouting can be Nature's way of protecting seedlings from harsh weather or other stressors. When seeds decide to wake up from dormancy, there are a lot of complex physical and chemical changes that happen within the seed.

I look at the soil glistening in filtered sunlight. I wonder what my seed is going through at the moment. I am amazed at how in such stillness, my seed is perhaps growing, protecting itself, thriving to be all that will be.

As with people, when we choose to rest, we hold space for protecting ourselves from stressors, possible burnout, and fatigue. We allow ourselves to reconnect with joys outside of the circumstances we are navigating. Stillness and rest can be growth too. A gentle reminder, growth can look different for all of us.

Do we all have access to rest? Perhaps not, sometimes our ability to rest is shaped by our privilege, health conditions, financial responsibilities. And even rest, for that matter, can look starkly different for all of us.

‘It is okay to rest right now. Productivity isn't always loud, productivity isn't always external. Sometimes the deepest productivity occurs within. Remember not all growth requires movement. Some growth is quiet. Some growth requires paused energy. Some growth requires stillness.’
- Bianca Sparacino