“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be happy, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all.” Buddhist saying
“You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.” Michael Pritchard
Today my life was touched with beautiful grace. Not only by my gentle and kind friends, my lovely and amazing daughter, but also by the earth itself. I helped plant my friend’s vegetable garden this afternoon, digging in the black, rich Wisconsin soil, sowing seeds for leeks, peas and squash, while enjoying the perfect April air, blue sky and warm sunshine. What a blessing it was to again plant a garden, after two years of having no garden to care for. What is it about putting your hands in the earth that so deeply satisfies the soul? You can just give all your cares and worries over to the ground, bury them and let nature compost them, transforming what is hard, painful and sore into something rich and fertile, allowing something new and beautiful to grow. Without judgment, no questions asked. It takes it all, lets the worms, sun and water do their jobs, and creates life from what was dead and discarded.
This evening, walking home through the town, I was accompanied by the moon, Venus, and a ring of stars surrounding them. They were so brightly shining, so benevolently winking at me, La Luna gracefully glowing in a sensual curve as I quietly walked. I felt they were silently communicating with me, telling me not to worry, to simply accept life and its twists and turns, and to quietly listen for the guidance of my own wisdom with patience. After living so long in a place of nothing but questions stemming from my intellect, it was wonderfully soothing to drop into my heart and walk from there.
Coming back to this town where I lived three years of my life before I went to Denmark two years ago, it has been slowly relaxing me, inviting me to become calmer, more accepting and trusting of life. I am learning to breathe again, stretching my soul and embracing my spirit. Not to sound too corny, but I have to admit that I am beginning to feel more alive than I have for a long time, like a plant which had nearly died from too little water and care, now being lovingly cared for again, which is slowly reviving and receiving the light of the sun.
We humans have a need to be in sympathy with one another. When there is too much antagonism for too long, we begin to shrivel, we cannot grow. In this growing season, it is easy to compare our lives to those of plants and trees. The trees around here are all in gorgeous, fragrant blossom now, their wonderful scent wafting over the air, filling us with beauty and the joyousness of spring. This truly is the season to celebrate being alive again, to soon dance around May poles and watch pretty girls dancing, colorful ribbons in their hair and hands.
At a time such as this, it becomes easier to put skepticism and cynicism away, and replace them with joyousness, with gladness, with laughter. The world and its tragedies will go on regardless. But for right now, among green, growing, flowering things, the sun on my face, the moon and stars overhead, the sky an endless, amazing blue, I am happy. How about you, Dear Readers? What brings a smile to your face today, who can you give a hug to, a hand to, share a laugh with? For an hour or a day even, any small gesture of hope and gladness can help to raise us up a notch out of our frustrations and doldrums. I encourage you to try it on the next sunny day. It is nearly May!