Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Colorful Embrace

I awoke this morning and prayed for something beautiful. I think it was a prayer. Maybe a wish. Anyway, I wasn't being picky or choosy about what that might be. I've just had the most heart-wrenchingly gorgeous dreams lately. Depending on which dream I'm referring to, I'm surrounded by the greenest, most lush gardens; gracefully seated by a koi pond on a hill; or discovering rare wine in a secret cellar beneath ice and snow. In my dreams, I appreciate and protect and share this ripeness, treasure, and surprise. Those dreams, that liminal space...

My waking life has been less simple, and the ground doesn't sparkle as it does in my dream-winter. And so I asked for something beautiful to hold me here today: a colorful embrace. Of course, from the time I stepped out of bed things went awry. REALLY awry. I kept breathing, shifting, remembering that "overwhelm" is a state that passes. Nothing was working, so I decided to stop thinking and start moving. I strode through the sunny neighborhood listening to the iPod. I think I started to really worry about myself around the time I was tearfully (and seriously) identifying with an old Madonna song. Jeepers.

I saw dead grass and leafless trees achingly far away from budding out. My cheeks were flushed with effort and I was out of breath and suddenly back on my block. As I slowed my pace, I took a long look at my house. The lawn service never came back to finish clearing things out, so I dropped to my knees and started making piles of the old leaves and broken limbs with my hands. I could feel the crush of leaves breaking and thorns pricking my skin and just continued steadfastly clearing.

And there it was-- underneath all the muck, having survived the snow, sleet, and every other harsh Kansan wintry attack: one flower, blooming, waiting for me to uncover (or discover) it. My flower is a pansy called "love-in-idleness," on display with purple and cream-white petals. Shakespeare referred to it in A Midsummer's Night's Dream as the base of a potion that made one fall in love. (A little syzygy there, too.)

Today, I fell in love at just the right time with a flower called love-in-idleness. Today, I remembered love and beauty are so closely tied. All it took was my surrender, the reminder of valuing patience, and the act of digging away to make room for what was waiting for me all along, right in my own front yard: already abloom.

Gratefully present,


K.B. said...

Oh Steph. This is just beautiful. And just what I needed. Love you.

Saint by Sarah Jane said...

I cannot tell you how much I related to this post. I found myself not breathing as I read! A huge exhale released when you uncovered your flower. I am so glad you uncovered a was a good sign for me too!! Your writing talent is phenominal. I look foward to your next post! Thank you for sharing! Sarah Jane