Lessons from Spring
Before you read the rest of this message, look up and around for some patch of nature.
You will certainly find that Spring is well on its way: leaves are lush, flowers showing off their radiance, days are getting longer. You hopefully find that the ground is soft from rain's last visit. Taoist tradition inspires us to look to nature for guidance and wisdom, and no season is more obvious than Spring.
BE CREATIVE - This is our first Spring at our new home, and we have found quite a spectacle of flowering plants popping up in unexpected places. Creativity requires an openness to inspiration, the flexibility to allow such inspiration to take you to unknown places, and to see the beauty in not just the final fruit, but in the process.
BE PATIENT - Ah yes, the "P" word. These past few months, especially, has been a testament of our patience. And yet we can, always, practice more. My brilliant husband has planted fruit trees in our garden so that we have a fruit crop for every month of the year. While we are excited to welcome some of those fruits in the coming months, some of our trees, like our Mango tree, for instance, won't bear fruit for another 2 years or longer. And so we wait, cultivate, and protect those fruit trees until then. In the meantime, we bring our attention and gratitude to the fruits we do get to enjoy now.
TENSION IS FUEL - Do you know how much tension it must take for a plant to break out of its seed shell? And then how much more tension it takes for the plant to push through mounds of dirt? You see, tension in this instance is the force applied by the potential energy built up in the seed. In order to stretch something, we need tension. In plants, that tension allows the leaves to fully unfurl in order to receive nourishment from the sun. Once we have stretched ourselves to our peak position, that tension needs to be relaxed into wisdom, acceptance, and fruitfulness.
LET YOUR FREAK FLAG FLY - One of the surprise plants we have in our garden are these Irises. Now these are not your garden variety flowers (see what I did there?). You see, each stem produces not one, but three flowers! We also inherited an orchid tree whose flowers are a shade of fuchsia that I have never seen before. The blue flowers of each stem of the Pride of Madeira seems excessive, but what do you expect from a proud plant? You see, nature doesn't hold back. If you ask me, nature is kind of a show-off. And yet, NO ONE is embarrassed. Are you passionate about something? Allow yourself the fullest expression of that passion, even when the chances of failure are high. After all, flowers wilt ever so quickly. But in those glorious moments of full bloom, their impact to the whole ecosystem of life has power and meaning.