Dear Fellow Travelers,
This winter has been a tough one for all living things throughout most of the United States. Here in the North Texas area, we’ve had an even more exaggerated version of our usual roller coaster temperatures and surprise storms. As I watched the trees, plants and flowers in my yard deal with the confusion, I was captured by the resilience of my daffodils. They had the misfortune to bloom just before the last sleet storm of the season and were bent sadly to the ground just days after gifting me with some lovely blossoms. It was a truly painful sight one morning as I ventured out to see them cut down in their prime. A day or two later, the weather reversed itself and we had clear skies with warmer temperatures. This was no real shock to those of us accustomed to life in this region. What did surprise me was to see my daffodils with stems upright once more reaching for the sun. It struck me as a powerful metaphor. Here were these delicate creations of nature, battered and bruised, showing themselves in their vulnerability and weakness, in less than perfect form and having the courage to stand and reach towards the sun in their imperfection. I found myself wondering how many times I’ve hidden myself away when I felt less than worthy to stand and be seen, judging myself or focusing on self-disappointments. How often do we decide that we are no longer able or worthy to reach for something we need or desire?
Of course, flowers don’t think about such things. They simply follow their internal guidance. In order for the plant to survive, the roots must be nourished and in order for this to happen, the leaves must take in light from the sun. A flower doesn’t worry about how it looks nor does it concern itself with its “failure” in the face of the storm. It simply raises its face up once more when the storm has passed and reaches for the light of the sun trusting that this is enough. It performs this task as best it can for the good of the plant. These thoughts brought me to another question: “What does it mean to be in service to others and be an imperfect human being?” It’s an interesting question and I’m still working on it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
My wish for all of us is that the next time we are hit by an unexpected storm, we will be willing to stand tall and unashamed reaching for what we need and desire. Only then will we have the power to serve with a clear understanding of our unique contribution to the whole.
Blessings & Light,
Far away there in the sunshine are my greatest aspirations.
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them and try to follow where they lead.
Louisa May Alcott