Yesterday in some devotional reading time, I learned about Serotinous Cones.
Jack pine has developed what is called a serotinous cone. Serotinous cones are covered with a resin that must be melled for the cone to open and release seeds. When a fire moves through the forest, the cones open and the seeds are distributed by winds and gravity…. When lodgepole pines grow, especially in areas that are prone to forest fires, their cones are tightly sealed. A layer of resin and woody tissue sticks the cones’ scales together. The seeds are locked in tight, and the cones can’t open unless they’re exposed to VERY high temperatures like the type of temperatures that fire provides.
There are trees that need fire to reproduce. It got me thinking about stress, and love, and Holy Flames of transformation. Of course, the obvious default of being grateful for “firey” moments when they happen.
But what if we knew we were serotinous kinds of people? What if the only way I’m able to have learning “stick” is to have it released in the fire of transformation? And what does that look like?
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about the Enneagram these days. In my past, I took a test, it said I was a “2” and I kinda thought it made sense and that was that. In the past year, the assessments always say I’m a 4. If correct (I suspect it is) this makes me appreciate the fire as well. I wonder how I react in unexpected moments of transformation. This week I showed up to a group gathering where I had to be vulnerable – after months of reports and discussion and prayer around past experiences, and new challenges. Just showing up for me was in itself a victory of sorts.
But it didn’t “get me anywhere” in a linear sense. I’m still without support for a confusing direction. What to do? I think I have to trust I’m oozing spiritual resin all over the place. Who knows where those seeds of possibility will land.
Saying “yes” to just the small next thing is hard. But that’s just where I am right now. And the learning is very very deep and real. And hot. very very warm….