I took a picture of our first tomato seedlings beginning to sprout this morning. I never cease to be amazed that such a small seed can suddenly become a seedling, and then eventually transform itself into a large plant with fruits full of thousands of such seeds. It is a miracle that a farmer can never ever grow weary of seeing. I don't suppose we contemplate such things often enough. We say it is natural that the seed should become a plant, which I suppose is true, but it is also supernatural. A scientist can explain the chemical reactions and such that happen to make the seed sprout, but he can never tell me why. I watch such delicate little seedlings pop out of the ground in an upside down "U" shape. Then they are all twisted out of shape as they break free of the ground and reach toward the light. Finally, the seed shell is pushed off as the leaves unfold and a plant is born. I always want to help the little seedlings come up. It is hard for me to resist digging in the dirt of the places that haven't yet sprouted to see if the seedling is coming. I wonder if this isn't an echo of what man originally was intended to do in the garden. There he was to keep and till the garden. How I long to assist creation, to keep it and till it. It is good to have dirty hands and to smell of earth. It reminds me of what we heard just a few days ago in the Liturgy of Ash Wednesday: "Remember O man you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." This is a good life, yet it is hard because now we must "earn our bread by the sweat of our brow." The seedling count is now at 700. Only some-odd thousand more to go. Yet, each and every single seed that is buried in the ground only to spring forth to new life is a miracle, and it is a miracle I am so grateful to be the guardian over.