“I must have flowers, always, and always.”― Claude Monet
“Just pray for a tough hide and a tender heart.” – Ruth Graham
May you be both tender and tough, more tender though.
Tender to experience all that life brings.
Tough to keep going back, beyond loss and disappointment, to deep waters, current and flow.
Blessings and burdens woven together, with a focus on the blessings.
Sure-enough footed to take the next step, albeit afraid.
Resilient to go beyond momentary setbacks and roadblocks, continuing in uncertainty.
Shaped, weathered, softened.
With an affinity to growth, to beginning again and again.
A rock smoothed by the waves, the ebb and flow.
A seed breaking dirt, pushing to bloom, reaching for the sun.
A caterpillar transformed through time and struggle to the floating butterfly.
A tree rooted deep, bending with the wind, not breaking.
“To be strong, and beautiful, and go round making music all the time. Yes, she could do that, and with a very earnest prayer Polly asked for the strength of an upright soul, the beauty of a tender heart, the power to make her life a sweet and stirring song, helpful while it lasted, remembered when it died.” – Louisa May Alcott
“The earth laughs in flowers.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Gratitude by Lucy Maud Montgomery
“I thank thee, friend, for the beautiful thought
That in words well chosen thou gavest to me,
Deep in the life of my soul it has wrought
With its own rare essence to ever imbue me,
To gleam like a star over devious ways,
To bloom like a flower on the drearest days
Better such gift from thee to me
Than gold of the hills or pearls of the sea.
For the luster of jewels and gold may depart,
And they have in them no life of the giver,
But this gracious gift from thy heart to my heart
Shall witness to me of thy love forever;
Yea, it shall always abide with me
As a part of my immortality;
For a beautiful thought is a thing divine,
So I thank thee, oh, friend, for this gift of thine.”
Choose your words well.
Plant seeds of kindness, joy and light.
Reap the harvest of good thoughts and deeds.
Flowers in bloom, laughter in color.
Gratitude and its expression, a divine thing.
“Blue thou art, intensely blue; Flower, whence came thy dazzling hue?” – James Montgomery
“Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven!” – Lord Byron
Stop and look closely at the last few flowers of summer holding out a bit longer.
A brilliant pink star bursting from a purple morning glory demanding attention and awe.
Deep color, hue, richness, texture, works of art all around.
Layers, patterns, complexity.
Ingredients surround us daily to shake us awake.
Break complacency, see the brilliance.
Take nothing for granted.
Life is residing in the ordinary, beautiful details of each day.
“To understand is to perceive patterns.” – Isaiah Berlin
“The earth laughs in flowers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When thoughts limit, restrict, bind, move out, step back to see the expanse, beauty and brilliance.
In a flower, in another human, in the universe.
Renewed and refreshed, move back in to broaden your thoughts, trigger your imagination, reignite the fire.
Like breathing, in and out, close and far, yin and yang.
Fill up and pour out.
Life is balance, flow, struggle, ease.
Enter it completely, imperfectly and fully in the now.
“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Your minds may now be likened to a garden, which will, if neglected, yield only weeds and thistles; but, if cultivated, will produce the most beautiful flowers, and the most delicious fruits.” – Dorothea Dix
“We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.” – Marshall McLuhan
What to weed out, what to water
Choose your tending well
Be aware of what you behold
Time provides the necessary distance needed to gain perspective
Struggle gives way to calm
Ease and acceptance
Healing and restoration
Lay down the nonessential
Shape and be shaped
Malleable and permeable
Tend your garden
“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” – Liberty Hyde Bailey
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Elizabeth Appell
“Life is lived on levels and arrived at in stages.” – Edwin Louis Cole
Roots take hold
One stem branches in all directions
Reaching for the sky
All stages in play
From bud to bloom
Unfolding in stages
On time, never late.
Life is found in the process, in the middle, woven tightly between beginnings and endings, unfolding in front of us.
Step back to see progress, growth, lessons, blessings.
Experience loss all the way through, it’s the cost of loving deeply, the full spectrum of living awake.
Experience joy all the way through, it’s the foundation that keeps you rooted when the winds blow strong and relentless.
Experience hope all the way through, it’s the embrace that holds and heals, transforms and transcends.
Do not dismiss ordinary days, the very place and space that holy and sacred reside.
God has placed beauty, wonder and awe hidden right in front of us, never missing a day.
In nature, in another passing soul, in our own soul.
The rhythm of breath, the warmth of light, the flow of time.
Invite it all in to capture your attention, to enter your awareness, to stop you in your tracks.
Forego busy and efficiency, the pursuit of accumulation.
Choose flow, fruition, seed to bloom, waiting in joy in the in between.
Unfoldings abase and abound.
“As life has a way of unfolding as it is meant to, I have learned to trust life.” – Linda Thompson
“Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend.” – Mao Zedong
“The more you adapt, the more interesting you are.” – Martha Stewart
Despite drought, the flowers outside my window have burst and bloom bigger than ever.
Acclimating to conditions, they found their path to fruition.
Perfect conditions and someday are false narratives.
Acclimate to what’s present and available in this moment.
Root in gratitude.
Bathe in grace.
Bloom brilliant, full and bright.
Cast light and shine.
“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown
“Whatever opens us is not as important as what it opens.”― Mark Nepo
Through the cracks and crevices
Flowers break through
Joy streams in
Amidst the weeds
In the rocks
Behind the clouds
Hidden in the ordinary
Resilience and bloom
Beauty and awe
Take it in and cast it out.
“Don’t you know yet? It is your light that lights the world.” – Rumi
“The Amen of nature is always a flower.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Sit down at the table.
Abase and abound.
A buffet, an array of color, abundance and light is all around.
Linger, let it in, carry it forward.
A bit slower, held in grace, anchored in gratitude.
“Abundance is a process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” – Bryant H. McGill