Why Resist What Is?
I've been sifting through summer photos.
In preparation for a house-guest, I've been working to ready a room for her to not only sleep in, but feel at home in; one where she can enjoy sacred rest. I have empty frames strewn about the floor and my hope is to fill them with beautiful images from nature.
Most of the photos I took myself. Some were taken by my oldest daughter. This purple iris is one that I'll frame. I love the colors and simply holding it takes me back to that warm spring day when the flowers dipped and danced with the breeze. I took great pleasure in their bowing. Iris' bow very well.
And now it's Fall in my neighborhood. The garden is brown, a wasteland, save for the glow of mums here and there. The brilliant colors of spring are but a memory and I notice that some part of me wants to be sad about this.
When melancholy grabs hold, I know it is wise and good for me to keep moving. To shift my perspective toward what is here, right now. This does not mean I don't feel my feelings. It means that I am fully aware of them and can choose to do something with them if I wish.
To mourn the passing of flowers is not useful—unskillful, the Buddha called it. It doesn't feel like this type of mind state is helpful right now. It is de-energizing.
Instead, I can shift my attention toward something that is—one of two things:
1. To appreciate the season gone by. To savor the sweetness of memory and delight and give thanks for the blessings of those days.
I can also remember "how life works," if you will. These iris will bloom again. Their downed blooms touch the ground and become fodder for new growth. Their demise brings life to the iris of the future. Everything changes. Everything shifts, changes forms, and becomes something else.
2. I can return my awareness to the present moment and delight in what is happening now. The green maple trees that lean over my deck are turning into spun gold by the hour. Oak leaves die and turn to brown but life-giving acorns are deposited on the ground. Squirrels, not iris, dip and dance as they gather them up, stuffing them into cavernous cheeks. The dying of one thing gives life to another.
Life is precious. Each moment offers us magic and mystery. The task, for me anyway, is not to oppose or obstruct the process, but to enjoy what is.
My energy returns. I'm enjoying daffodils and roses now. Blanket flowers and dahlias too, if only in my mind's eye. I am grateful.
Such is the way.
(Photo Credit: "Her Royal Highness,"
©2012, Janice Lynne Lundy)
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Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.