The saga seed that could

“What kind of plant do you think this is?”, my friend asked me. “I don’t know. What is it?”, I said, somewhat embarrassed that as a former biologist, I didn’t have a name at the tip of the tongue.

“This plant grew from a saga seed!”, Y said excitedly.

“Really?!” This time, I was intrigued. Saga seeds held special meaning. I used to collect them as a child. A former colleague would happily collect them for his wife when our boat docked at Pulau Hantu, a recreational island off the main island of Singapore.

The seeds are hard, bright red, and shiny. I have never seen any of the fallen seeds germinate. There are saga trees in Singapore, but I have never seen one so small.

Y shared with me the plant’s story.

The seed was scarred after it somehow ended up inside a washing machine. Y placed it in a terrarium. The seed germinated and became a little plant!

In return, I excitedly shared that as saga seeds are consistent in shape and weight, four saga seeds would weigh around 1 gram! In India, saga seeds were used to measure the weight of gold jewelry.

Y mentioned that in nature, saga seeds are designed to be eaten by birds. In the process of travelling through the gut of the bird, the seed becomes scarred. It is because of this scarring that the seed is able to germinate when it falls back to the ground.

I left the conversation feeling that I have learnt something deep about Life.

Saga seeds are nice to look at. They look the same way for many years. It is only when the seed goes into difficult times and becomes injured does it transform into something that allows it to reach for its fullest potential, and in the process, help others around it.

The plant had a gentle appearance, yet it is strong and thriving. If the plant is transplanted into healthy soil, it could give life to many more saga seeds that come after it. It could become a big tree where birds find refuge and food. It could provide shade for those that come under it.

In life, much as one might want to reach your fullest potential, you may find yourself conforming to society norms and expectations. You may feel that it is safe to be like saga seed, to be valued by others and focus on a few things that you are good at. By society’s norms, you may be seen as successful. Inside, you may feel that life can be very different, and you might want to push beyond the hard armor you carry around. It can feel scary to drop the armor because what comes after transformation hasn’t been experienced by you yet.

In life, change is inevitable, and all of us experience tough times at some point. Many, including myself, may fear experiencing change and tough moments. It is only when we allow ourselves to go through the challenges that we allow ourselves the opportunity to drop appearances and truly reach for our greatest potential.




Crafting a life path, and aspires to transform lives meaningfully. Life Coach. Co-creator of a social venture. Spends time shaping culture.

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Cuifen Pui

Cuifen Pui

Crafting a life path, and aspires to transform lives meaningfully. Life Coach. Co-creator of a social venture. Spends time shaping culture.

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