Bloom (by a friend)

“Mt. Everest” by Katie Hutchison College

Yesterday, my friend Katie Hutchison College wrote a very moving piece about living in these times. I was so moved by her words that I asked her permission to post it on my blog. She graciously said I could. I used her image of “Mt. Everest” as my photo of the day.

Today’s bloom: anemone ‘Mt. Everest’. She hasn’t opened yet (perhaps later today). But this stage is beautiful, just perched on the edge.

At the end of the fourth Harry Potter movie, when it’s now clear that Voldemort is back, there’s a moment I love: the main characters are standing on a bridge, and Hermione, always able to see further ahead than the others, stops cold and says ‘Everything is going to be different now, isn’t it?’

To which, after a slight pause, Harry answers ‘yes. Yes, it is.’

The actors nail it. She isn’t fearful. Just…..wistful. Taking a moment to acknowledge what has changed. Taking a moment to think of the changes that are ahead.

He isn’t dismissive. There’s more a tone of quiet determination in his response.

It’s a remarkable moment precisely because the director had to streamline the book so much, and so many details were left out. I’m glad this small bit was included. The series is about, among other things, transitioning to adulthood, and this exchange says it all.

This sucks, and it will never be the same again, but we’re going to do it anyway.

Most thinking people understand now that this isn’t simply a weird, inconvenient two week holiday. The ramifications of this, economically and socially, are massive. And, of course, the ‘two weeks’ is long gone.

Did you ever, having messed up something or other in your life, wish for a do-it-over button? Did you ever read a story about someone who vanished and created a whole new life, and you took a moment to think hmm, yes, what would I change if there weren’t already all these pre-conceived ideas of who I am, if everyone surrounding me hadn’t frozen me into a mold? Who would I be, if I could be anything? I’m talking about the inside person, not the outside

Did you ever think “I’m trying so hard, now, not to be (insert character flaw of your choice here) but it’s impossible, because everyone’s already decided that I’m (repeat previous). And when I try to act in a new way it’s impossible, because they treat me like I’m still the old way, or they’re suspicious of my motives.”

Well! This is our moment!

People are different post-trauma. Things are different. Rules are different. Patterns are different.

While we grapple with what these changes mean for us, let’s not forget this: we can be different, too. But unlike all those other changes over which we haven’t much control, we DO get a say in our own upcoming, inevitable changes.

You have a blank sheet of paper in front of you and a nice sharp pencil with a perfect eraser.

If you know that you have always come across as cold and unable to show affection, but you don’t want to be that way – this is a once in a lifetime mulligan. Because nobody, but nobody, is going to question your sea change.

Been irresponsible? It’s a good time to shift gears. A crisis will do that to you. Haven’t been focused enough on the kids, other than micromanaging schedules? It’s perfectly understandable that this would shift your priorities. No one will give you crap for dropping out of some activities after this.

It’s a crisis, it’s a game changer, and Hermione nailed it: everything is going to be different now.

But not all of the changes will be bad.

We have all been imprisoned by some burden that can now be lifted, because in a very real way we’ve just been handed a Get Out of Jail Free card.

Go. Bloom.

Gratitude List:
1. The great and tender wisdom of my friends
2. I slept very deeply last night. I always feel, after a bout of insomnia, that I need to re-train my body to sleep.
3. Friday
4. Dogwoods in bloom
5. Yeast. We couldn’t find it in the big grocery store or in the little local shop in town, so I am capturing my own flock. It will take a few days, but I’m glad there are options. I’ve done this before, so I’m excited to try again. During times of quarantine, so people get a new puppy to tend and train. I wrangle wild yeast.

May we walk in Beauty!

“First is the fall. Then we recover from the fall. Both are the mercy of God.” —Julian of Norwich

“Nothing is more beautiful than the uniqueness that God has created. You don’t have to create the beauty—you’ve already got the beauty. You don’t have to create the freedom—you’ve got it. You don’t have to create the image of God in you—you have it. You don’t have to win over God’s love—you have more than you know what to do with.” — Father Thomas Keating

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” —Henry David Thoreau

“Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” ―St. Francis of Assisi

“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.” ― Mary Oliver

“Wherever they might be they always remember that the past was a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.” ―Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.” ―Ursula K. Le Guin

“True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.” ―Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who’s confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now.” ―Joss Whedon

“The world is remade through the power of fierce women performing outrageous acts of creative rebellion.” —Louise M. Pare

Ride the Wave

Today’s prompt is to write a poem titled __________ Wave.

Ride the Wave

If you watch closely
as it approaches
you can begin to feel
the energy enter your body
before the water
even takes shape.

Enter the sound and the color
before the matter engages you.

And suddenly you are part of it,
caught in the song of it,
bound in the curve and the crash
and the pull of the wave.

Gratitude List:
1. Speedwell and dandelion and grape hyacinth and violet and deadnettle. The little quiet beauties that catch your eye when you’re least expecting it. “Wake up now,” they say.
2. Spring in the air
3. People who put their souls and hearts into what they do. Art that is more than technical perfection, but is a reflection of humanity.
4. Getting some of the work done. Not nearly enough. But some. The load begins to lift.
5. Blooming. Flowers, children, teenagers, relationships, work, ideas.

May we walk in Beauty!

All That Is About to Burst into Bloom

Yesterday’s pictures was last year’s poppies in the rain.  This year’s picture was taken in the same week, but this is what they look like.

Gratitude List:
1. The profound effect of stories.
2. Stepping out of the doors, opening the windows, living in the big and vast and immeasurable realms
3. Teamwork and collaboration
4. All that is about to burst into bloom
5. Getting ready to turn the page

May we walk in Beauty!

Decisions and Vulnerability

Gratitude List:
1.  The way decisions grow and bloom.  You put that seed in the soil there and you say, “Hmmm.  Maybe?”  And then you come back to it a few days later, and–Lo and Behold!–something is growing!  And sometimes the bean you planted comes up, and sometimes something else is there.  Then you decide whether to uproot that or to tend it.  The year we began farming here, we planted watermelons in plastic planting trays.  As we were transplanting them out into the field, I came upon a little square where a tiny nettle was growing instead of a watermelon.  Nine years later, after that watermelon field has been tilled under and re-used for beans, for tomatoes, for squash, for peas, the nettle patch down by the parking lot is growing strong and lush.  Ah, decisions. . .
2.  The way, when you touch the wounded place and say
“This makes me feel vulnerable.  This makes me feel weak,”
the way that makes you real,
the way it makes me less afraid.
When you say,
“This is despair.  This is burnout,”
then all the rest of us can sigh,
then all the rest of us can say,
“So that is what it is.”
Then all the rest of us
can feel so much less alone.
3.  Orchard oriole in the back trees.
Baltimore in the the front.
4.  The bins are washed,
the market room is clean.
Today we harvest.
Today a new season begins!
5.  Possibilities.

May we walk in Beauty!