Seems appropriate to share this painting, a favorite from a few years ago, on one of my favorite days of the year. I’m not big on arbitrarily designated holidays, but I do appreciate days that mark the Bigger cycles. This is the moment in the year when the sun pauses the arc of its heavenly path, the darkness of the season begins to come to a close, and more daylight steadily returns to the place on the globe where I live. The subject of this painting (a blooming crocus) in a simple way reflects the results of the Sun and Earth’s astronomical dance.
At some point an unpretentious thumb-sized ball, perhaps a variety cultivated over many years by many hands, gets planted in the ground. Buried deep in the soil, it patiently waits out winter chills. Delicate webs of micilliim surround and nestle the sleeping bulb. A hungry squirrel sniffs and loosens the soil but departs empty-handed. Months later a robin hops atop the spot. It cocks its head as its feet sense a worm squiggling below. Probing for food it pokes some holes that unintentionally aerate the ground. Crucial rains seep downward more efficiently. Each day the sun shines a wee bit longer on this little patch of the globe. Some ancient form of genetic intelligence prompts the awakening bulb to aim a shoot through once-frozen soil toward the sky.
Soon solar rays are warming a few small leaves and a stem rises with a bud. It’s tight blossom swells. One auspicious day it opens and shares its glow with the world. A hive-mindful, honeybee is attracted and dutifully responds, dives in, collects pollen and carries it forward to further energize other life forms. Weeks pass, petals drop, the seasons shift, leaves brown and slowly wither. These in turn re-feed the ground where the crocus claimed it’s temporal foundation. Every step a necessary phase in a wondrous ongoing cycle.
Not surprisingly two admirable and inspiring folks I know were born on this day that marks the annual renewal of life. Each in their own way has surmounted personal challenges. Both had to discover their own inner grit and learned to accept outside support. They’ve each forged ways to use their unique gifts to affect lives in very positive ways (see link below for one of the recipient’s efforts). Interestingly each (with able assistance from their partners) have figured out how to create a safe space that lovingly fosters a sense of community through joyful experiences. Although the magic happens within small communities, the glow from their sincere efforts ripples outward into the larger world. To me their joint efforts embody compassion.
Through good fortune, my life intersected with each of them at crucial points along my path. Both connections opened and enlarged my heart, and have had a subtle yet profound impact on me, especially in helping me shape my own sense of purpose. Like so many, I’m a better person for the gift of sharing time with them, and forever grateful.
As with flowers, so it is with all of us. We all ache to flower but even the most passionate of us are obliged to respond to our circumstances. We somewhat predictably, somewhat randomly interact and exchange energies with others, and all life as it comes into our sphere. We all face obstacles, and may find ourselves on secure foundations or loosely rooted. If lucky, the pesky squirrels don’t uproot us. Sometimes we must endure drought or rocky terrain or wait out the cold, other times unexpected warmth or crucial nourishing love flows our way.
We all benefit from kindness, and thrive with support. Unforeseen new friends or familiar visitors appear and may alter or enhance the very trajectory of our lives. Sometimes other’s actions indirectly empower us. Occasionally fate pairs us with kindred spirits who knowingly and generously share their energy. No matter the day or season, in all these exchanges, each of us has the opportunity to support one another’s growth, elicit smiles, and nurture beautiful blossoming.
Here’s to the return of the Light, 2020.