“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.” – Anne Lamott
“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” – Anne Lamott
A cloudy warm end to the day. A daily run to breathe in the gift of fresh open air. Routine. Habit. Ordinary. And then suddenly, out of the dry leaves of Winter, brilliant deep crisp purple and orange pop out to awaken and sharpen the senses. The ordinary transforms to extraordinary, to delight, to the unexpected. The first and not last sign of Spring, of life, of expansion, of hope, of color invites us in with open arms. A living prayer. An embrace.
Seasons, cycles, certainty, uncertainty and clarity merge. In the midst of transition, of waiting, of the precursor to Spring, wandering in the desert with the oasis around the corner, we find life vibrant and more than well. Planting season, filled with complexity, mystery, light and color.
“When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.” – Anne Lamott
This is holy, sacred, hopeful time. Take a knee. Offer a prayer. Let go of the familiar. Be prepared to be surprised, to fully enter awe. It’s all around. Wake up!
“You must be a lotus, unfolding its petals when the sun rises in the sky, unaffected by the slush where it is born or even the water which sustains it!” – Sai Baba
“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
I bought these flowers a few weeks ago and they are still standing strong. Carnations are a hearty bunch. After yesterday’s post on colors and the cusp of Spring, I woke this morning to snow falling. So much for the Spring theory. Isn’t that the way it always is? Just when we think the buds will pop, the grass awaken, the snow returns once again asking us to see with new eyes.
The snow was the perfect backdrop to the carnations standing firm, looking up and blushing with soft pink and yellow. We are both beautiful and bold, soft and tough, sullen and joyful.
Embrace the bloom and the snow. We are more than survivors. We are here to thrive. Still standing in bloom attention.
“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
These are tumultuous times to be sure. Uncertainty. Social distancing. Unprecedented. Our lack of control exposed. The outcome unknown.
Being positive is naïve and unreasonable. And yet, beauty remains, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. Worry produces scarcity and fear. When the waves pound, the clouds block the sun and uncertainty rules, this is the precise time to trust, be aware, let go and allow hope to rise.
Beauty remains, offering respite and repose. Take this time to reflect, go deep and take account of where you are and make plans for where you will go with intent and enthusiasm when the time is right.
“You have to be in the world to understand what the spiritual is about, and you have to be spiritual in order to truly be able to accept what the world is about.” – Mary Oliver
Be kind. Be present. Be grateful.
“Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?” – Alice Walker
“For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.” – D. H. Lawrence
No special occasion. No waiting on someone else. On the weekly grocery list. I buy flowers for myself like I buy lettuce. Nutrition for the soul to savor the fragrant brilliance found only in a party of fresh blooms. Each one unique, brimming with beauty. Showing off as they should. Unapologetic.
A florist once advised me that to make the flowers last longer, freshen the water daily. Solid advice for living too. Dump out the stale, clouded water and begin each day a new. Fresh water, fresh blooms.
“Living the focused life is not about trying to feel happy all the time…rather, it’s about treating your mind as you would a private garden and being as careful as possible about what you introduce and allow to grow there.”― Winifred Gallagher
With rapt attention, the bee moves into the center to fulfill her purpose. Pick your flower and dig in.
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.” – Emily Dickinson
Care for and guard your garden. Clarity comes in slowness, unfolding in gentle solitude of an open heart. Wonder, possibility and awe follow.
Never stop asking or answering Mary Oliver’s question “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
The focused, wild and precious life. One attention-rich day at a time.
“The colors live a remarkable life of their own after they have been applied to the canvas.” – Edvard Munch
“The artist discards all theories, both his own and those of others. He forgets everything when he is in front of his canvas.” –Georges Rouault
Rather than merely seeing an old wall on an industrial building, someone saw a blank canvas and painted a beautiful flower. When we look at the same old things in new ways, the same becomes new, our vision expands and understanding deepens.
Look at each day, each moment with new eyes, with your imagination. Where can you paint a beautiful flower, plant a seed in a heart?
Imagination and creativity are in all of us, no exceptions. Blank canvas, colors in your imagination, flowers in bloom all around. Start painting!
“The Amen of nature is always a flower.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
“The hidden harmony is better than the obvious.” – Heraclitus
Beneath the fresh clean snow, each flower prepares in silence;
Beyond the frigid temperatures, the ground rests patiently for spring;
Beneath and beyond this moment, you are being prepared and cultivated for your unfolding, becoming and blooming;
Beneath and beyond your knowing is a certainty that all is well and as it should be;
Patience breaks ground revealing hidden harmony.
Beneath and beyond.
“There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation’s braggart lords.” John Muir
“Do not waste time dreaming of great faraway opportunities; do the best you can where you are. Open your petals of power and beauty and fling out the fragrance of your life in the place that has been assigned to you.” – Orison Swett Marden
Deep vibrant hues, fragile elegance, open arms embracing the sun. The flower is whole from the sum of the petals.
As brilliant petals complete the flower, moments are the petals of our life. Wake up, observe and participate in each moment fully, entering the beauty to be found in a single day.
Celebrate the full bloom of life that is rooted in details of the petal.
Where you are. Petals of power. Flinging uninhibited.
“Your inner knowing is your only true compass.” – Joy Page
“Our obligation is to give meaning to life and in doing so to overcome the passive, indifferent life.” – Elie Wiesel
Even flowers know to lean into the light. Light warms the heart, exposes color and hue, cultivates gratitude, builds resilience and pulls us from the depths of indifference. Lean to the light and let it do its work on you.
“Pay attention to the beauty surrounding you.” – Anne Lamott
“Everyone is flailing through this life without an owner’s manual, with whatever modicum of grace and good humor we can manage.” – Anne Lamott
There’s a depth and complexity to life that walks in tandem with simplicity and beauty. A mix of mystery, joy, light, loss and abundance.
Remain in each moment, fully immersed. It is part of the fabric, the story and the journey that we are all on and share. No manuals, no 10 quick steps to instant success. Starts and stops. Left and right. Up and down.
Pay attention. Beauty and light. Grace and humor.