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Posts tagged ‘Flowers’

Luminous

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.” —Rumi

When I turned on my laptop to write my daily post, the camera lit up for facial recognition to bypass the log in. I leaned in and a message popped up: “Too close, move farther away.” When I leaned back a bit, it worked. If I was too far away, it would probably say, “Too far, move closer in.” I didn’t expect to get my post today from the Artificial Intelligence on my laptop, but here goes.

When we get too close in or too far away, stuck in a fixed mindset, ego and spiraling thoughts, go in the opposite direction. Scan and then zoom. Zoom and then scan. It’s a dance. Live with intention and attention rather than by accident.

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” – Allen Klein

Search for color and light, find color and light. Choose awareness and gratitude over speed and scarcity. Find awe in the ordinary. Surrender your need to be right, to know everything, allowing the mystery and unknowing to expand and deepen to your very soul.

“There is a land beyond the ego’s striving to be “better than,” or its fears of being “less than.” That land is where we know ourselves to be both sovereign and connected—“ part of” as opposed to “better or less than.” When you come home to the truth of who you are in the marrow of your soul, you begin to break the ego-shell.”— Marrow: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser

Easter Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…

“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

“And why, you may ask, spend precious time searching for something as elusive as a soul? Why not leave it where it hides—near to us, yet so difficult to find and sometimes dangerous to follow? There are two reasons: First, you search for the soul for the sake of your own life—for purpose, for meaning, for strength, for freedom and peace and love. Second, you search for your soul for the sake of everyone else. You do it for your family, your children, your coworkers, the whole world. The world needs your originality, your ideas, your humor, your creations. All of this is alive and well within you, hiding somewhere near you, beneath the layers, down, down, down, into the soul.” — Marrow: A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser

We forego the everlasting gift of Easter Sunday, if we neglect to carry it forward into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…and each day going forward. Not just a drive-by holiday, the story of the Cross to resurrection is life-changing, world-changing.

That relief and lightness that people are feeling about getting the vaccine after going through year of a pandemic is but a glimpse of what Easter living offers, present in each day beyond frustrations, fleeting feelings and what the world says is true. That lightness will pass as we resume “normal” whatever that may be. We’ll replace it with the next worry, the next dilemma. It’s exhausting. The eternal light of God was, is and always will remain true and available to all freely, no matter what humans say, do, deny or pursue, thinking it can be found somewhere else. Somewhere else is here on Easter Monday.

To get to here, there is a lot of letting go of resentment, anger, unforgiveness, opinion, judgment, assumptions that shape our life and steal our joy, wonder and awe.

No one makes the decision but you so if you are all good, riding high and where you want to be, carry on, you’ve figured it out. If you’re struggling, searching and unsatisfied, Easter Monday is here and will remain no matter your choice. Consider your options. It is up to you.

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

The 15th Station

“EASTER MORNING The stirring wildness of God calls brittle bones to leaping and stone hearts to soaring. Old women dance among the stars.”— Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems

“In all ten directions of the universe, there is only one truth. When we see clearly, the great teachings are the same. What can ever be lost? What can be attained? If we attain something, it was there from the beginning of time. If we lose something, it is hiding somewhere near us.”― Ryokan

With a year of the pandemic, weekly church has been on YouTube, sitting on my couch drinking a cup of coffee. With more places opening and the vaccines getting out, I went to Good Friday’s Stations of the Cross “live” this year, all in attendance spaced appropriately with masks. Stations on Good Friday has been a tradition for years with my parents. My Dad will be gone five years on April 28 and as I sat through the service, I thought of the many times we went together.

There are 14 stations of the Cross that are reflected on and contemplated during the service:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus takes up His cross
  3. Jesus falls the first time under the Cross
  4. Jesus meets His afflicted mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene is forced to take up the Cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls a second time
  8. Jesus meets the Women of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls a third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
  11. Jesus is nailed to the Cross
  12. Jesus dies on the Cross
  13. The body of Jesus is placed in the arms of His Mother
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb

The Lenten journey culminates today, Easter morning, in the glory of resurrection of Jesus. On Friday, the priest called the resurrection, the 15th Station.

We all have our own stations that we move through in life. The times we fall and keep getting up only to fall again. When we watch others suffer and can do nothing about it but be quietly present to witness and hold. When we help others, but complain about being interrupted and bothered like Simon, yet do it the same. When we are generous, wiping the face of another like Veronica. When we die to self again and again or cling tightly to offense, resentment and opinion, refusing to change and insisting others change instead. The 15th station is completed by the 14 stations that come before.

In our journey to the 15th station of resurrection, transformation, renewal, we do not walk alone for Jesus walked the path before us and remains with us in our journey if we choose to see.

Eternal spring, a well to return to again and again in our bewilderment, consternation and struggles. We are Easter people. Be changed and rise up. Happy Easter.

“AND THE GLORY The silence breaks into morning. That One Star lights the world. The lily springs to life and not even Solomon… Let it begin with singing and never end! Oh, angels, quit your lamenting! Oh, pilgrims, upon your knees in tearful prayer, rise up and take your hearts and run! We who were no people are named anew God’s people, for he who was no more is forevermore.”— Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems

Pathways

“If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.” – Anatole France

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” – Buddha

The space between two end points.
The pathway.
The middle.
The journey.
This is where life is lived.
We must start to finish.
The pathway is filled with ordinary days.
Sacred if we allow.
Holy if we invite.
Joyful is we accept.
We carry the weight of life in our neck and shoulders.
The neck is the pathway between the heart and mind.
The shoulders are where we carry weight that is not ours to carry.
Lay it down.
Tune into your heart and let it lead to clear the path to the mind.
A flower blooms without fail when the pathway from the dirt through the stem is open.
To absorb water and nutrients.
To breath in the sun.
When the path is winding with detours, delays and distractions, return to your heart to open the pathway.
Let sun and water do their work.
Roots and blooms.
Open pathways.

“A blessing is, finally, something wild. It leads us where we did not imagine to go, and never in a straight line. That is the nature of a blessing—and the nature of God, who meets us in each moment, within time and beyond it, encompassing us season by season in a circle of grace.” — Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons by Jan Richardson

To Live Again

“The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.” – Jean Giraudoux

“Music comes from an icicle as it melts, to live again as spring water.” – Henry Williamson

Spring is in the air, if only but for a moment. After two weeks of way below zero temperatures, we are getting two days of 40 degrees, a glimpse of the next season, a sneak preview in February. The slow melt of snow to water, ice to puddles, skating rinks returning to lakes. While the cold air of winter lingers, the sun and longer days take center stage to remind us of the certainty of seasons.

Glimpses, beams and threads are woven into the fabric of each day to pull us through winters, delays and desert time. Gifts of hope, inviting and guiding us beneath the surface of the obvious, beyond the oblivious and rush of mere activity into the deep waters of gratitude, grace and awe.

Examine, observe and absorb the sheer beauty in the petals of a flower, revealing complexity and simplicity in creation, in a single moment.

Winter is sure to return to finish its job, offering its final gifts of quiet preparation and dormancy to prepare for the emergence and awakening of spring bud and bloom. Open the gifts of each season, make each day holy with open arms and a grateful heart.

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.” – Bernard Williams

A Bit Longer

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.” – Henry Ward Beecher.

“Whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want.” – C.S.Lewis.

When I went into the kitchen to get my water with lemon and coffee to start the day, one of the stems of my amaryllis plant with three blooming flowers had broken overnight, holding on by a thread and laying to the side of the pot. I cut the thread that remained away from the bulb, filled a crystal pitcher and promptly put the stem in the water to see if I could hold on a bit longer to the full bloom. When it withers and has its full time, I will discard it, but for now I’ll linger in gratitude of the beauty that is available to me now.

Flowers, music, art, quiet time, reflection are simple ways to foster a sense of gratitude, deepen awareness of the present moment. We have an accurate count of what is missing in our life, perhaps even an inflated one. Focusing on the depth of the valleys, we forego the height of the mountains that exist along side concurrently.

We discard and dismiss, racing off to what we think will want, only to be disappointed when we arrive to our destination and it is not what we thought it would be. It is impossible to find happiness outside of self.  It is the root, the start and the end. Embrace the present in deep gratitude and awareness while glancing to the future filled with hope and anticipation. The past, our circumstances, other people are out of the realm of our control. Our attitude and outlook is ours alone.

Lyrics from Kathy Mattea’s song Standing Knee Deep In A River sums it up well – “knee deep in a river, dying from thirst.”

“Why I ever let them go…
They roll by just like water, and I guess we never learn.
We go through life, parched and empty
Standin’ knee deep in a river, and dying of thirst…”

Root each day and every day in gratitude. Knee deep in a river, overflowing in abundance and satisfied with now. Capture and take full account of both blessings and burdens, valleys and the mountains. Stay a bit longer in gratitude, steeped in the present moment.

Steeps, Tints, Swells

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.” – William Cullen Bryant

A bulb in dirt five weeks ago, now on the tipping point of bloom. Native to South America, Amaryllis are tropical bulbs that are harvested in the summer and then chilled to prepare them to bloom. Given light, water and time, the flower bursts on the scene in brilliant red, a glimpse of spring amidst the restoration of winter.

Seasons and cycles teach us to sow, take root, seek light, be nourished by water and patiently wait for the certainty of bud, bloom and burst to unfold in due time. From dirt to bloom, seed to harvest, winter to spring, start to finish to start again, we discover the journey of the circle, the flow of the river.

Steeps, tints and swells.

“The earth’s crust has not yet stopped heaving and plunging under our feet. Mountain ranges are still being thrust up on the horizon. Granites are still growing under the continental masses. Nor has the organic world ceased to produce new buds at the tips of its countless branches.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Full Bloom

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”- Wayne Dyer

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” – Gilda Radner

Ease into the unknown, embrace uncertainty, hold what’s necessary and release what weighs you down, what blocks your path. Lessons often unfold in hindsight with time and distance, with no recourse to change course. Awareness beckons, invites and welcomes learning in real time, in the very moment, deepening moments and amplifying time.

Awareness first. Lessons in the moment. Change certain, growth optional. Choose growth, expansion, gratitude and joy. Fight the good fight.

“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor E. Frankl

Opposite, Dichotomy, Pattern and Connection

“Life is a great tapestry. The individual is only an insignificant thread in an immense and miraculous pattern.” – Albert Einstein

“I believe we create our own lives. And we create it by our thinking, feeling patterns in our belief system. I think we’re all born with this huge canvas in front of us and the paintbrushes and the paint, and we choose what to put on this canvas.” – Louise L. Hay

In our effort to prove our rightness and others’ wrongness, we diminish the complexity and depth of the world and our place in it. While it may provide temporary comfort, we miss the rich essence of living fully by both observing and participating, listening before speaking, conversation rather than pontification.

Life is filled with dichotomy and opposite as well as pattern and connection. When we put down our ego, listen and open our eyes, we find that we share the road on this journey, with no one right about everything. In the blending, depth and connection, there are patterns, insights and answers that have been present waiting to be discovered through thoughtful, quiet inquiry.

A meaningful and content life emerges when we ask, “what am I to learn?” and “how can I give rather than take?”

While I may not agree with others, I can still maintain my principles and beliefs without diminishing them in the process. I can even go so far as being kind and generous, especially to those I don’t agree with.

We need to both insulate the noise that distracts us and absorb the rhythms to create music. When we are too close, we need to pull back. When we are too far, we need to move in. From simple to complex and back to simple again. Going deep, then rising to the surface.

Be open to seeing patterns and connections amidst the dichotomy and opposites. There is far more beauty than we account for as we count the wrong things. Be willing to learn and as a result, grow and change.

Daily Prescription

Take time off.
Minutes. Days. Repeat.
Enter the woods.
Step into the water.
Cease activity.
Leave worry by the wayside and do not return to reclaim it.
Embrace the air, sun and water.
Let it embrace you back.
Wandering, wondering with no schedule.
Take it all in until the sun sets.
What we carry defines what carries us.
Witness beauty in each day.
Let it permeate your bones and change you.
Breathe deeply with all of your senses.
Lay down the unnecessary to make space for what truly is necessary.
Count your days so you make each one count.
Awe, delight and gratitude – all side effects of this joy prescription.

“Life is the flower of which love is the honey” – Victor Hugo

“He who postpones the hour of living is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses.” – Horace

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”– Frances Hodgson Burnett

“Write your worries in the sand, carve your blessings in stone.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.”– Jim Carrey

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