As we were leaving our local library, an unassuming-looking book on display by the door jumped into our hands so we went back to check it out. We were responding to its title, Lenapehoking: An Anthology, a reference to the the native American Lenape homeland on which our home — all of New York City — is built. At night from our terrace, we look out at the dark promontory in the park across the way that long ago was said to be a Lenape lookout.

Lenapehoking: An Anthology was produced by the Lenape Center and the Brooklyn Public Library: “the first-ever Lenape-curated exhibition in New York City, featuring a collection of masterworks by Lenape artists and educational programs that teach visitors the story of the Lenape community.”

In it, we found this remarkable passage on seeds:

Seeds are alive. They respire. In winter they sleep, dream, and wait for warm blooded hands to hold them and release them to the world when the conditions are just right. A seed is phyto-alchemy; the progeny of a season of verdant photosynthesis poured into a condensed capsule of light. Each seed is the promise of light returning in the form of gentle germination, the first yawn of cotyledons, the unfurling of leaves reaching back to the sun to gather energy, once again. Seeds are a circle both in form and function. A seed holds memories of seasons past, of cupped hands that held them and passed them down generation to generation. A seed is the present moment, touching skin to soil, channeling the elements of water, warmth, and light. A seed is a vision of possibility.

THAT is the lens with which we see as we wander through Spring, and plant our garden, and sprout mung beans in a Mason jar in our kitchen, and marvel at the beauty and nourishment insistently growing all around us.

View a virtual version of the exhibition Lenapehoking, with videos and music, here. Lenapehoking: An Anthology is not available to buy on Amazon or…anywhere, it seems, though you can borrow it from the New York Public Library system.

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