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Seeds of Resistance: More than a Metaphor

“Seeds are encoded with their own unique genetic history, but also preserve human cultural heritage and values.” 

- Dr. Mónica Ramirez-Montagut, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum Director

My visit to the Broad Art Museum at MSU this past weekend could not have come at a more apt time. Lately, I’ve been struggling to put into words the passions that have been on my heart - and the ongoing Seeds of Resistance exhibit I stumbled upon materialized my thoughts perfectly: Nature is power. It has a story to tell, so long as we listen. It tells a story that reaches far and wide, bringing us together as one species, uniting through pings of empathy and understanding. 

The personal stories we share of nature within our lives exist in an array of forms. Maybe it's the significance behind the wildflowers that were in your mother’s wedding bouquet, or the history of that special family recipe that never seems to grow old. Maybe it’s the story behind a cell phone photo of a beautiful plant peeping out of a crack in the sidewalk, or the unique botanical lore that is ingrained in the hearts and minds of every culture. Nature is central to the fabric of who we are; humanity is woven into the natural world just as much as it is woven into us - and it’s time we recognize that. 

As we begin to listen to the stories that nature tells us, let us not forget the role we play in nature’s story. If we are to facilitate the healing of our planet, we must first know our place within it. With unwavering respect, humanity must learn to honor the beings we share this space with. Doing so begins by becoming aware of the role nature plays within our own lives. We must learn to give thanks to the natural world for sustaining us not only physically, but emotionally and culturally. The fight to resist the loss of biodiversity on our planet is also a fight to maintain the diversity of the stories nature has inspired within society. 

Preserving the sanctity of botanical seeds - symbols of growth, renewal, resilience - is preserving the sanctity of this world’s stories. And stories are our best way to connect with each other. They induce empathy and understanding. One could even argue that a story symbolizes growth, renewal, and resilience . . . perhaps it is more true than we could ever possibly understand: Humanity is woven into the natural world just as much as it is woven into us.

Kayla is a sophomore at Michigan State University majoring in both Environmental Studies and Sustainability (ESS) and Journalism in the Honors College. This is her second year writing for Her Campus. Half of her free time is spent enjoying the outdoors in any way possible (especially running, biking, and hiking). The other half is spent in coffee shops or in her kitchen experimenting with different recipes. Follow her on Instagram @kaylanelsen_
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