A seed, let’s call it Hank,  is planted in one backyard. It is sown into the fertile earth waiting for the day to open up and break through the ground to grow and thrive and reach towards the sun. Next to this plot of earth, which is home to this seed, a bag of high quality organic fertilizer, bought with hard earned money, sits unopened.

In a neighboring yard, another seed, let’s call it Harriet, is planted. It too is sown into the fertile earth anticipating its growth. A pile of homemade fertilizer made from kitchen scraps sits next to this seed’s home. The pile of fertilizer is being dug into with gentle hands, softly covering the earth above the seed with a sprinkling of this organic matter.

The days go by and Hank sits patiently within the dry earth, the unopened bag still next to it. Next door Harriet too is still below the soil that is being sprinkled with water. She is bursting with excitement for what she feels is about to come.

More days go by and Hank is listless. He is dry and waiting for that fancy bag of fertilizer to feed him, for a splash of water to hydrated him. But all he sees is another expensive bag of fertilizer thrown down next to him. And another. And another. But none of them have yet to be opened. And no hands have come to tend to him.

Harriet on the other hand has pushed up through the ground and can feel the warmth of the sun on her tiny leaves. The hands that have been tending to her are tending to her now. Soft earth is pushed up around her base giving her more strength to grow up. The pile of fertilizer is strategically piled up beside her blocking the overpowering mid afternoon sun’s rays from her. She is immediately relieved for the break from the hot sun. She is watered and she is happy.

Sadly Hank didn’t make it.

After weeks of trying to break free from his cocoon with no water, no care, and expensive bags of fertilizer never opened, he has dried up and withered away. His shell is breaking down and in time he will become a part of the earth. All that remains of him is a small mound of earth where he was meant to grow and numerous bags of unopened fertilizer. Goodbye Hank.

Harriet has thrived. She is now 5 ½ feet tall. She has a strong and sturdy stalk. She is watered daily and fed when needed. She is now strong enough to allow a full days sun to shine down on her. She has become shade for others. She has become a resting place for the hands that tended to her. Harriet is happy.

She has been loved and cared for. Harriet will thrive.