A Box of Peace –
I received flowers for the first time in my life yesterday. Sure, Beth and I as a couple have gotten flowers and plants from family members and friends but flowers for just me? This was the first time. My wife and I opened the box and pulled out a beautiful Peace Lilly (pictured). It is a luscious green with one bloom but the potential for several more. There was also a candle and condolence card. The gifts were from my co-workers and I’m thankful to work with such kind souls.
We placed the flower on a stand near a window where it will receive plenty of sun. I’ve looked at it many times today and have reflected on the last couple of long weeks since my father passed. I like that the Lilly isn’t in full bloom yet. It’s symbolic. It’s a reminder that peace will come in its time. Right now we are in the early stages f grief and there may be moments of peace but it hasn’t healed the wounds in our hearts. However, if we give it time we will notice blossoms of peace spring up more and more until one day, hopefully, there will be more peace than sorrow.
Until then, we’ll hold to the promise, the hope, that better days are ahead.
Turning Loose –
Last weekend Beth and I took a trip to see some family in another state. When we left the yard seemed green, the bushes and trees covered with leaves and even a few blossoms dotting the yard. However, when we returned after only a few days things looked very different. The yard had begun to turn brown, the blossoms were gone and the bushes and trees had brown leaves which had begun to fall. In the last week, most of the yard contains the leaves that until recently were holding on. The clocks were turned back last weekend and it seems fall has finally settled in and winter is not far behind.
I don’t like the end of summer. The bright days growing shorter, the green trees and bushes getting bare, the colors becoming a muted brown. However, I also know it is the cycle of life. What is alive and flourishing will diminish and die. The long winter nights remind us of the journey each of us will make at the end of our lives to the other side. There will come a time for all of us when must turn loose of the lives we have and accept the passing of time.
I have spoken this week with a young woman who is getting married next Saturday. She has two young children and loves these symbols of spring and new life. I also connected with someone who is faced with the reality of how quickly life passes.
The cycle of life is ever-moving. We don’t know where we are in the circle but we do know it’s movement, fast or slow, never stops.
Season Pass –
“Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.” ~ Author Unknown
On my way back from a lecture today in Hohenwald, TN the sun was shining brightly through the limbs of the trees which are rapidly becoming barren. It still feels like summer with temps in the low to mid 90’s but fall is approaching. The leaves are already giving up their grips and descending to the ground. We probably won’t have too much color as they turn this year due to the lack of rain this hot and barren summer.
Fall is another reminder of the transience of life. Summer’s rapid end reflects our own aging and how life is fleeting. The youth of spring and summer is like the cool morning mist of fall; easy to see but impossible to grasp and hold on to.
Accepting that life’s seasons pass quickly is the first step to living fully in every moment, not taking for granted any breath, experience, ray of sunshine, or drop of rain. Wisdom teaches us to be mindful of every moment for these are what life is made up of.
Yesterday afternoon I sat on the hill behind our house reflecting on the week. There was a stiff wind blowing and I was thankful for a jacket and a toboggan. It has been cool and rainy most of the week but at that moment it was warm and sunny. According to the weather forecasters the strong breeze was bringing with it warmer temps for a few days. Though the air was cool the sun shining on my face felt nice and my spirit brightened at the thought of spring; long days, green grass, trees brimming with leaves, shorts and t-shirts. It isn’t here yet but I believe it’s on the way.
Winter is a long and difficult season for me. Being inside, sheltered from the cold, short days and long nights spent covered in blankets, sends chills into my soul. However, yesterday, sitting on the hill, I felt different, more alive and hopeful for better days.
Earlier today I made my wife five flower boxes that she will use to plant and grow beautiful flowers and vegetables in the spring and summer. In a coat, with a runny nose, battling a chilled fall wind I built these boxes.
Why? Because I believe spring will come. When these cold days and frozen nights are gone, the flowers will blossom, the limbs will bud and the glorious sun will warm the earth and my soul.
Until then I hope. I hope not based on wishing and fantasy but on the season of spring, long days, short nights, which has always come before and I believe will come again.