This next week looms large in all of our lives. Surrounded by loud, angry, often frightening commentary in large scary fonts scrolling across the bottom of the Nightly News. Screaming headlines. Screaming angry fists raised to match screaming angry voices. Not just on the Nightly News, nor on web pages, but in what would be normal daily conversation with friends, family and neighbors.
Or is there a normal anymore? Anywhere?
Rumors, innuendos, fact and fiction all sloshing around in a cesspool of every minute of every day drip drip drips of doom. Straw men and straw women placing bets, plotting schemes, making stuff up, and putting people down. Faceless anonymous commenters writing words they would never dare say to someone’s actual face.
Nope. That’s not accurate. There are many many who are willing to stand up, show up, and get up in someone’s face, to flash their anger, wield their righteousness, their indignation which can only be assuaged through the heartless humiliation of another.
Perhaps today more than any other it is time for a touch of....
Garden Variety Wisdom
Perhaps it is the perfect moment for me to invite you into the Garden, lead you to a white adirondack chair, and welcome you in.
Won’t you come and sit for awhile?
You are safe here. Here in the Garden.
For here, face to the sun, is the truth. The truth about Nature and the Nature of Man. Our existence. Nature is the path, the eternal circular path from chaos to calm and back again. Calm to chaos. A necessary coexistence of life forces perfectly symbiotic. Harmonic rhythms. Mutual vibrations always moving, never still.
Hurricanes, floods, drought, earthquake, eruptions, fire, tornadoes, the tsunamis of chaos. Tremors, rattles, shakes, cracks, thunder, roaring waves at sea, are the hallmarks of chaos.
But in truth, the beginning and the end of chaos lies in our breath. As we breathe, we send out energy. One simple breath so soft and tender, it barely vibrates the thistles on a dandelion. The act of breathing in and out is our place on the eternal circle of life. It links our energy to every single breathing creature on the planet. It connects us to the energy of the universe. Our outward breath is a gift to humanity. Our inward breath is the act of receiving the gift in return.
No matter where you are in the world, if you come into the garden, you can see, hear, smell and touch what is real. You can lean your head back, look up into the sky and watch the clouds move past the sun. Then follow the motion as the shadows skitter and dance, shading one tree branch, while the others remain illuminated by the sun. Now blink. Look again. What was there is already gone. What you see is real. Real right now. You may reach out a hand to freeze frame the moment, but it will have already slipped through your fingers.
Get your paintbrush. Plant your easel. Paint what you see. The wind blows slightly and a petal falls from an aster. The light from the sun seems to have transformed the golden edge on the bark of an oak tree, to a deep ochre. Nothing stays, except your memory of the moment. Memories are tricksters. They remind you, they whisper, but in a tiny corner of your mind, you wonder. Stay too long in the past memories, and you will miss the wonders of this moment and the next.
We cannot escape chaos. In truth, we need it. For it is the chaos that makes us stand taller, reach higher, dig deeper into our souls for the strength we never knew we had. Chaos provides the life lessons and the muscle building exercises necessary to rebuild after the destruction.
Calm is the sweet retreat, the luxurious and soul salving essence that reminds us that everything changes. Nothing stays the same. The pain ends. Wounds heal. Broken homes restored. Shattered lives mended. Hurt feelings comforted in a warm embrace.
Here, in the Garden, seated quietly, being still, we are in the midst of the eternal circle. Gazing at flowerbeds now dormant, and imagining the earth beneath our fingernails, as we will, in the warmer months ahead, till the ground and sow the seeds. What is ending leaves an empty canvass waiting for the touch of your brush. Where anything and everything is possible.
Sit here as long as you need to. Sit here and simply breathe in. Think of yourself sending a breath, blowing a kiss, to another soul somewhere in the world. Then let’s all chant together...
We will be fine.
We will be fine.
We will be fine.