I feel this blog has been formulating for a few weeks now, ever since I came across the first brave dandelion clock standing proudly in our front field. Since then, there has been an explosion of dandelions and other wildflowers, the beauty of spring sprinkling her colours all around.
The dandelion clock has always been a precious concept to me; the idea that potential can be released even when it is not always understood in its current form. Some regard this flower as merely a weed, while others affectionately treasure it as the holder and releaser of dreams. Perspective is everything.
Sometimes life turns up in the most inspired way that I can’t help but pause to savour the goodness with gratitude. You see, today was one of those days. One of those topsy turvy, emotional rollercoaster days. When all seemed well but all was not.
Today as I looked out over the farm I could see the beauty of nature all around. The sun was shining and the fields were blossoming with wildflowers and dandelion clocks. The animals were bathing in the warmth of the spring day, without a care in the world. All was beautiful. All was bright and free and yet in my heart resided a deep and sorrowful heaviness.
There is the common saying “trust the process”… And believe me there have been times I have really resented this statement lol. But there is something around the assurance that healing and freedom cannot be rushed or put into a time frame. Curiously, I have found that the “letting go” can often be the catalyst that sparks the freedom to organically heal.
Go gently, and lovingly respect the pace of your own heart.
Let’s be real; this is hard. Covid 19 has presented us all with difficulties and challenges. It is hard in different ways for different people.
For some they are bravely stepping into supportive roles, choosing to turn-up and face unimaginable pressures in our hospitals and within our communities. There are too many different professions to name but you know who you are and you have our sincere gratitude. Your sacrifice and struggles are immense at the moment.
This morning I awoke with a heaviness. A strained conversation I had had the previous evening with a loved one still swirled around my head. In these confined and restricted days, emotions can be heightened and at times frayed! I needed time to reflect. And so the kids and I integrated the morning animal ‘feed routine’ into an extended mindful walk.
Our front field borders a neighbour’s yard and they have a big German Shepherd dog. She is beautiful but she is intimidating. Whenever we pass her gate she routinely charges towards us at full speed; teeth showing, barking and growling. Today as we neared her yard the dog came rushing over in her usual fearsome fashion. My daughter asked, “Why does that dog bark so much?” I was a little preoccupied ruminating over my disagreement, and so without much thought I replied, “Oh, she’s just grumpy”. And that’s when something shifted inside.
There is something very stirring about music with dance. As I reflected on this, my mind went to my favourite classical piece, ‘The Swan’ by Saint-Saens. As I searched for it on YouTube I came across a clip of this arrangement eloquently interpreted through ballet. The music alone is profoundly moving but to witness this elegant ballerina pirhouette across the stage was breathtaking.
There was something in the freedom of her movement. The fluidity by which she moved; the leaning in to a position and the slow but resolute withdrawal into the next sequence of her routine. All the while the music flowed carrying the ballerina soulfully across the platform. Her body portrayed the ever-changing dynamics; reflecting the swells and the gentle depressions within the music. There was a delicacy in which she moved and yet a sense of purpose and strength.
When I was running an errand today I came across this beautiful cherry blossom tree that had started to bloom. It was set in the corner of a dark, grey carpark, on a wet and dreary day.
My mind felt heavy and so did my heart. There were many reasons for this mood, of which talk of pandemics and quarantines swirled in the mix. Anxiety and low mood are also contagious. I don’t say that to be flippant, I say it in earnest.
For those who are struggling mentally or have in recent times, and indeed for many of us, the “closing in” and prospect of social isolation can feel quite suffocating. Today for a couple of hours I got lost in this downward spiral of emotion.
But beauty broke through my melancholy as I lifted my gaze in that dark corner of the carpark and beheld this beautiful tree. In Japanese culture cherry blossoms represent the fragility and beauty of life. There is a Japanese saying that goes, ‘life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but it is also tragically short’.
What an analogy for our lives at the moment. Life is beautiful but is also brief. As we are reminded that life is fleeting it is also good to remember that illness and quarantines won’t last forever. In the grand scheme of things, it is but a short season of our lives. That is not to diminish the reality of this illness or the suffering that individuals are experiencing as a result around the world.
When I felt that grey, heavy burden today, the blossom turned up to remind me that there can still be beauty in the darkness of our circumstances. When life starts to feel like it’s closing in, you can ask yourself, what do I need to do to feel the beauty around me?
Movement around may be restricted more and more but perhaps getting creative with art, or listening to music, connecting with friends and family on Skype, or my personal favourite: writing! I also find getting some good belly laughs and movement helps me! You’ll know what helps you.
The beauty of Spring is creeping in amidst a world in fear and suffering. But I encourage you to keep lifting your gaze to see the beauty around.