The Jewels of Summer

Damsel FlyAll at once, as if on cue, the damsel flies appear, their iridescent ebony flitting through the ferns like winged jewels.  I am speechless at the sight of them.  Sometimes beauty overwhelms.

Now come the lush days, I think to myself, brimming with garlands and song and the sweet smell of grasses.

Only a few moments ago, all was frozen and barren.  How could all of this emerge from that?  We walk surrounded by mysteries and wonders.

And in the ferns, jewels glisten, leaving me speechless and in awe.

Potential

Wild Raspberry BlossomsExhaling, the Great Yes sends its dreams into the worlds.  They ride through the dimensions, each one finding its place, its season, and there they unfold.

From within the fields of time, what was, what is and what will be appear as separate things. Their unity is hidden.

The dreamers who live out the dreams experience their perfection as potential.  But they are perfect nonetheless, having sprung from the imagination of the Great Yes itself and wearing its stamp.  And their experiencing is perfect, too, regardless of the labels they make up from within their illusions.

Then the Great Yes inhales, and all its dreams return to it colored with the knowledge and understanding of what it was like to be in the fields of time.  And the heart of the Great Yes embraces them and glows with love, and joy and compassion, and it exhales, sending forth its dreams.

Acts of Kindness

Lavender Fleabane“What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. They are but trifles, to be sure but, scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.” ~Anonymous

You never know what your one, small act of kindness can do.  A smile, given from the heart, can turn a life around.  A word of encouragement, a touch, a small, thoughtful gesture can make all the difference in someone’s day.

In an indifferent world where we are often little more than cardboard cutouts to each other, bit players in a crowd, kindness rescues us from our anonymity and loneliness.  It connects us to each other and makes us real.

Kindness says, “I see you. I respect you. I acknowledge you.”  It tells the other that you are humans together, with similar trials and cares.  It says, “You matter. I have time for you. Let me listen.  Let me help.”

Kindness is a joy-flower that strengthens the spirit and refreshes the soul of giver and receiver alike.  It’s soft as feathers and bright as the sun, and happiness is its perfume.

The Lilacs’ Service: A Happiness Tale

white lilac blossomInitially the lilacs chose the Earth mission because it sounded like such an adventure.  The place was known, after all, for its challenges and extremes.  Well, that, and for its incredible beauty.

They had to undergo rigorous testing before they were approved.  Successful candidates for the program had to be resilient and hardy, able to withstand wide-ranging contrasts of heat and cold, to survive in rich and poor soils, to stand against buffeting winds and pummeling rains.  Most of all, they had to have strong hearts.

During their first few years of the mission, they found out why they had to be so strong.  The planet’s reputation for challenges and extremes was well deserved, they learned; they were indeed put to the test.  It was everything they could hope for in an adventure.

As for the beauty of the place, it was indescribable, and the lilacs were filled with bliss just to have a part in its unfolding.

As the years passed, the lilacs discovered something more.  So many of the people who lived on earth were lost, and confused, and filled with pain.  They had, for the most part, forgotten who they were and so they fought with one another and caused each other great distress and pain.  It was heart-wrenching to watch.

How meaningful it was, then, for the lilacs to discover that they had the power, simply by expressing their own nature, to bring the humans comfort with their beauty, and to heal their spirits with their perfume.  It gave the flowers a sense of purpose that elevated their souls and made every challenge worthwhile.  They had dreamed of adventure, and discovered, in service, pure joy.

Springtime Dreams

Swallowtail and White LilacsFor dreams of the colors of the ten thousand blossoms, of the return of warmth and all the shades of green, let us give thanks.

For the dreams of landscapes billowing with new grasses and trees soft with new leaves, of nests bulging with hungry birds and rabbits and fawns, and hillsides where colts play and calves and lambs graze, for all these springtime dreams, let us give thanks.

For dreams of swallowtails fluttering through white lilacs, and of tree boughs laden with oriels and blossoms, of the light stretching longer and longer across the hours, and of breezes filled with songs where there was only silence, let us give thanks.

For hopes met, promises kept, and all our best dreams come true, let us give thanks.  Let us lift up our glad faces and give thanks and give thanks and give thanks.

Shades of Joy

Sunlit hillside woodlandWhen the Great Yes shines his light on them, they vibrate with his joy.

Some, subtly, as if it were so holy they were too awestruck to speak.  Some shouting and clapping as if it were too large to contain.

But each in her own voice, each with his own tone, and all blending in an enormous symphony of joy, a ringing chorus of ecstasy, rolling down the hills, pouring over the rocks, filling the streams, until every molecule is singing with the sound.

A Prelude of Passion

Multi-hued LilySpring was in deep ecstasy now, completely surrendered to her love of color.  She dipped into the farthest edges of her palette and swept the flowers with exotic combinations of hues.

The plants were fully rooted, the days stretching toward their full length.  The intensity of spring’s passion was a perfect prelude for the coming heat of summer, and all the world reveled in her flaming delight.

It was all part of the grand plan, of course.  Her blazing enthusiasm was meant to be.  And because she gave herself to the great Yes with such fervor and such ardent affection, her part of the plan was clearly revealed to her as unquenchable desire, and she followed its call with rapture and untold joy.

Unfolding with Ease

Pink tulip petalsListening to her heart, she was at ease, although the work was complex and new.  She trusted, not as one trusts a mere belief, but as one trusts from experience, that the next step would make itself known.

Sometimes she had to stretch herself, to reach higher and farther than she knew she could reach.  Often she couldn’t see how things would turn out.  But it was the challenges that made the work interesting and fun.

Just days ago, after all, she was a green bud.  And now, here she was, her petals pink and broad, glistening in the morning sun.

Had you asked her, she would not have been able to tell you how a bud transforms into a flower.  She didn’t even know then that a flower was what she would become.

She only knew that life’s patterns were drawn in wisdom and love and that her task was to listen for the harmonies and to let them be her guide. And so she worked with a wide sense of ease, centered and content and filled with satisfaction and joy.

Expectation

Pink Dogwood, Blue Sky

All that could go right, all that could be beautiful,
All that could bring laughter, all that could bring joy,
All that could nourish, all that could further,
All that could support, all that could uplift,
All that could inspire, all that could enlighten,
All that could inform, all that could bring comfort,
All that could give pleasure, all that could give hope:
Let these be the things that fill your heart and mind.

Wildflowers for Momma

wildflowers in vaseEver since I was a young child, on the 22nd of May I have picked a bouquet of wildflowers in honor of my mother’s birthday.

She’s been gone for a couple decades now, although her loving spirit is as tangible for me as ever.

The month of May was “our” month, holding both my birthday at its beginning and hers at its end, and Mother’s Day in the middle.  Not only that, but May was her middle name.

She was a woman of great compassion and bravery, a teacher of nurses, a healer of wounds.  She had a great sense of fun, a wonderful imagination, a beautiful laugh.

She loved birds and flowers and knew the names of hundreds of them.  She loved classical music, big bands, and the songs of Jerome Kern and Rogers and Hammerstein.

She read me poetry and fairy tales and took me to concerts and circuses.

We built sand castles together and combed the shores of the Great Lakes for beautiful rocks.  We camped out and traveled to the wilderness and to the ocean and to great cities.

She gave me the best of everything she knew, and I adored her.

And so, on May 22nd every year, I pick a little bouquet of wildflowers in honor of her birthday and let them carry me back through the years I was privileged to share with her and to bask in our love.