The Mystery of the Sinister Seeds

Just when I thought things could not get any weirder, news of people receiving unsolicited packages of seeds from China broke last week.  It seemed unbelievable, as much of the news of late, but this particular mystery intrigued me.   The strange packages were apparently mailed from China (no, not Wuhan), to unwitting recipients across the United States and the United Kingdom.   The mailing labels stated the contents were small jewelry items like rings, or earrings.  Instead, when recipients opened the parcels, they found small plastic bags of seeds.


My first thought was, ‘Wow! This is a great premise for a sci-fi/horror novel, but it is really happening.”  My second thought was that the seeds might release some kind of virus or disease, but no, we already have that.  A contagious disease spread by seeds would be redundant and inefficient.

A host of other sinister possibilities rose up in my mind. Experts said, “At this point in time, we don’t have enough information to know if this is a hoax, a prank, an internet scam or an act of agricultural bio-terrorism. Unsolicited seeds could be invasive and introduce unknown diseases to local plants, harm livestock or threaten our environment.”

Would you plant seeds that arrived in your mailbox if you didn’t know what they were or where they came from?  The senders of those seeds know that humans are naturally curious and count on the fact that someone, somewhere, WILL plant those seeds just to see what happens, in spite of any warnings from the Department of Agriculture, and the trouble begins. Even if everyone who received a package of seeds just tossed them into the trash, those seeds will happily spring up in dump sites across the country.

Surely these seeds are part of a nefarious plot by evil scientists to destroy the natural flora and fauna of our part of the world via a noxious, invasive species designed to squeeze the life out all native vegetation.  It is possible the seeds carry a plant fungus or some other icky disease that will quickly proliferate, or a genetic mutation that renders all other plants sterile and unable to produce when they come in contact with the unknown plant.

Once the seeds loose havoc on the world, those that instigated the invasion will be the only ones with the antidote, and in a position to extort an exorbitant price from those at their mercy, or in exchange for power and domination.

But what if those mysterious little packages of seeds did not come from China? What if they came from somewhere beyond our planet, the first incursion of our alien overlords, preparing the planet for their habitation?  The seeds introduce alien food sources needed for their sustenance, that will destroy our own.

Of course, it is possible that the seeds could be harmless. A hoax, a prank. Or better yet,  let’s assume that the seeds have been sent by benevolent aliens with good intentions, planning to introduce peace, love and unity to the peoples of earth via a powerful new psychedelic plant that, just by inhaling the scent of its beautiful flowers, brings about a change in consciousness. I vote for that idea!

In the end, all of this seed business may simply be a “brushing scam”, something I had never heard of before.  “A brushing scam is an exploit by a vendor used to bolster product ratings and increase visibility online by shipping an inexpensive product to an unwitting receiver and then submitting positive reviews on the receiver’s behalf under the guise of a verified owner.”

A brushing scam? A plot to destroy the world by evil scientists? A psychedelic revolution?   Perhaps the plants will eradicate the murder hornets.  Only time will tell.






In spite of all of the trouble, what a wonderful time we live in. We can be amazed by images sent back to us from the Hubble telescope from all over the universe; the galaxies, the stars, the planets and their moons. I love to peruse those mesmerizing pictures of Jupiter. We understand and map DNA, we  study and photograph tiny atoms and share those images on media that can be seen all over the world.  We can discuss quantum physics and alternate universes around the dinner table. We can learn how to change oil on our car, how to paint butterflies or can tomatoes on YouTube.

We can connect with people all over the planet in ways that no previous generations could have imagined.   Think of how all of this exposure to grand ideas and images changes us and expands our view of ourselves, and of the world.  Children growing up today know more about the universe, the world and their fellow humans than ever before.  This gives me great hope for the future, since it becomes more and more obvious that we are all living on one planet, and that everything we do affects everyone else.

No matter our circumstance, there is simple joy to be found in just walking out of the front door and looking at the sky, the clouds floating by, taking in all of the different and subltle shades of the green trees.  Tuning in to the bird song, the rustling breeze, and take a deep breath of wonderful, life giving, air.  Breathing air that, only last week, was being breathed by someone on the other side of the planet.  Amazing!  This is where I am at today.  Finding simple joy in simple things, being aware in the moment, of being alive, and of livingness in all around me.


Sunset over the Salish Sea

This doesn’t mean that I am not aware the suffering, the poverty, the pain and death that is also part of this life.  There is the dark side of all of that enhanced communication and connection, where information can be changed and nefarious agendas propagated on the very same platforms that spread hope, beauty and connection, or it can be used to escape or replace real connection.  Sometimes it is hard to allow ourselves to experience joy, because there is suffering, and our hearts are heavy.

Embracing, and accepting the shadow and the dark of life and of myself at the same time as the co-existent good is what has made me whole.  Instead of projecting our rejected shadow out onto someone else, take it back and give it a place at your table.  Carl Jung said that if everyone took back their own projections, there would be world peace.  From experience, I know this to be true within my own life.

Becoming aware of the goodness all around us, and of the small joys in life makes us more human and more whole.  We cannot control what will happen next, only our response to it. In that, we have more freedom than we can imagine. If we can change our minds, we can change the world.

I will leave you with three thoughts from one of my guiding lights, Victor Frankl, from his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. These are not mere words, but keys to wisdom that can be used to unlock secrets of how to change your mind.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

“Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.”

Where are you finding joy and strength these days?



Tarot Keys 1-29-06 006 Transition #13

Cynthia Ray

This the perfect card for the times we find ourselves in.  The message hidden here is one of transformation and ongoing change. Dickens describes what it feels like to be in the midst of deep and profound change, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Some decks title this card Death, but here it is called Transition.  Contrary to what some may think, it is a positive and joyful card. Transition is change, the act or state of passing from one place, condition or action to another, a transformation from one state to another.

All change has two faces, a face of life and a face of death.  The end of one thing is always the beginning of another.  Our own body replaces itself with a new set of cells every seven years to ten years, and some of our cells are revamped even more rapidly.

There is a seed in the upper corner, denoting the promise of life and rebirth.  Every seed is destroyed and broken open, for new life to emerge. My heart is like this seed, breaking for those who are ill, or dying, for those that have lost their jobs, for the homeless, the poor and for those who are afraid.

Life as we know it is crumbling around us, revealing fault lines in our systems and structures.  But even as those thing crumble, they are giving way to embryonic and hopeful signs of change.  The heads of a man and woman on this card represent the growth of Wisdom and Understanding, and the wheel shows possible progress in new activities.

I hope and look towards a new beginning to be born out of this shared global experience. The pandemic will change how we approach healthcare in this country, for example moving to more telehealth, and community health. It is moving us to novel ways of working, communication, and global cooperation to solve problems.  It will affect how we make a living and how wealth is distributed.

We are now living and experiencing a common story together, holding hands as we move into the unknown future together.   There are many trajectories we could choose, but in this card the sun is rising (not setting as some suppose), and the river of life is flowing into it.

Nothing in this blog is about writing fiction but all good fiction is about transformation, showing how characters, how worlds, how ideas change, and the best fiction changes us, too.  I am finding that writing during this time is different, and deeper, affected by the state of my mind and my heart.  What about you?