A New Place in Reiki

A New Place in Reiki

Dreamers, broken lovers, and the ocean

Hello friends. It has been a long time since I have written on this blog. Life is an unpredictable, twisting journey. I have walked down a spiritual path of many tears over the last couple of years. I moved across the country, leaving winter for spring, leaving the frozen prairie for the wild forest and ocean. I moved away from my Reiki practice as the Holy Spirit led me to reach out to the evangelical church of my childhood.

Through tears and love, I wrote what I heard from the heart and voice of Jesus. I put into words his burning gaze of Love and Social Justice. But with the American church’s overwhelming support of Donald Trump in the election, I threw my hands up in despair. My pen weeps over my old conservative Christian community. They have disowned the Holy Spirit and embraced ego, greed, and hatred.

But I still find Jesus among those who are broken, those who are seeking healing for themselves, their communities, the world. Jesus calls out to those whom the church has rejected, just like he loved those whom the Pharisees rejected. I have friends in the communities of Progressive Christianity, Universalism, the New Age, the Environmentalists, LGBTQ, the broken lovers and dreamers. I am finding a new place in these communities and in my Reiki practice.

This blog and my Reiki is dedicated to all these wanderers and mystics who are struggling in this ego-driven, competitive American society. Life is so much more than the next promotion, the next fancy vacation or house or car. Our spirit bodies transcend this realm of appearances.

I do find so much joy in my move back to the Pacific Northwest. There are many spiritual seekers here. The portals of light and healing are open over this beautiful place. I hear the songs of the Holy Spirit in the trees and the ocean. People love and protect God’s precious environment.

I took a trip to the ocean recently to breathe in the salty air and heal my winter- ravaged lungs. The weather was sunny, but the waves were high, wild, and majestic from a morning winter storm. I wrote a poem while watching the waves.

My spiritual practice is like the waves ebbing and flowing. Even the chaos of life’s storms creates beauty.

Namaste friends, new and old. I am excited to start again on this journey of spiritual exploration and healing with you. Please let me know in the comments if you have something to add or a story to share. Contact me about doing a Reiki session.

May the love and peace of the Holy Spirit heal you and bless you today.

Namaste.

 

 

Image Credits: Alexandra Koch.

Roses, Peace, and Good Vibrations: Healing at the Park

Roses, Peace, and Good Vibrations: Healing at the Park

I had a fun time with my son on Sunday. The weather was perfect; summer is such a beautiful season in Minnesota. Somehow my cares, worries, and burdens seem to melt away as I enjoy the warm summer sun and cool northern breeze. I spend so much of my time and energy advocating for the poor and oppressed and worrying about peace and all the greed and problems in the world. Taking a day playing outside with my son refreshes my soul from these burdens.

The Rose Garden

First we went to the rose garden. We looked at all the beautiful pink, reds, and goldens made even more vibrant by this record wet summer. I taught my son how to breathe in the fragrance of the roses, to slow down for a quiet moment and learn from the unpretentious gift of the flowers. The roses do not struggle and compete with each other in ego shows of pomp and beauty; each bloom is crafted by the hands of fairies and nature spirits guided by the love of the Creator. Each bloom contributes its own unique color and fragrance to create a rainbow garden of one. If only we humans learned to live in contentment and oneness like the flowers. Peace.

The Peace Garden

After the rose garden, we visited the peace garden. This was a timeless place of rocks and perennial flowers, standing strong through storms of nature, and the chaos of human destruction. The rocks, flowers, and trees stand in witness at the darkness of human behavior, and wait for the day when evil will end and the oppressed and the needy receive justice. In Isaiah 55, the prophet poetically spoke of the day when evil repents and the poor have all they need. Verse 12 (NIV):

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

The trees have hands, and voices. At the peace park, my son wanted a leaf. I taught him to ask the tree’s permission for the gift. We felt the tree’s pain and saw holes in its leaves. We laid our hands on the tree in a gentle exchange of Reiki. The breeze rustled through the leaves as the tree murmured its appreciation. The most poignant moment of the day came next as we walked to the peace crane memorial. This is a statue of a paper crane, in memory of a young Japanese girl who died of radiation cancer from the bombing of Hiroshima. Before she flew away from this earth, she folded hundreds of these cranes in a Japanese traditional wish for peace. My son is still too young to understand this tragedy, but we folded a crane together to add to the thousands of other wishes for world peace.

Vibrations In The Park

We left our wishes at the peace garden and headed to the park for a picnic and fun together. We took off our shoes and wiggled our toes in the cool grass and warm gravel. With feet bare, we could feel the vibrations of the earth. Good vibrations. Healing vibrations. We do not spend enough time barefoot outdoors in modern civilization. The earth is alive and constantly vibrating beneath our feet with spiritual frequencies that help us to ground and center our souls on this plane. Wearing shoes and hurrying from place to place dampens these vibrations. I enjoyed reconnecting with the earth with my son. I also enjoyed playing with my child. Play is imagination is the Spirit and is healing. We climbed ladders, went on an imaginary bus ride, and rode the swings. We ended our day with a healthy body-nourishing picnic lunch and soul-nourishing treat at the ice cream parlour. It was a wonderful day of child-like fun, learning, and healing. A day of smelling roses and touching the peace of heaven, the kingdom of Yeshua. Take time today,  friends,  to explore the beauty and vibrations that still exist in a world of pain and chaos. Embrace the park and the light.

Spring and the Sparrow

Spring and the Sparrow

Spring is here in Minnesota. The mountains of white snow are melting into brown puddles of mush, splashed by passing cars. Brave green grass pushes through the litter of brown leaves left buried by autumn snow. Birds chirp in the trees, and I even heard a few early frogs singing their spring tune. Signs of new life surround me, so welcome after this cold, challenging winter.

Is it spring in your life, too, friend? Whatever challenges you have been facing, you can look forward to a spring of healing. Spread your arms and your heart wide open like a child dancing shameless in the light, or a flower reaching toward the warmth and life of the sun. Like a sparrow starting a new life.

Let me tell you a story.

* * *

Three cracks.

Three large cracks created a delicate spider web pattern over a white egg speckled with brown. The mother sparrow fluffed her wing over the egg and sang a low, soft song, “Hurry up, my Iittle one. Hurry up and come out.”

Four other little chicks crowded each other around the nest. They opened their orange beaks, far too large for their small, naked bodies, wide for food. Their loud chirping broke the silence of the cool spring morning. The mother bird pushed the last egg further from their pushing, bobbing heads.

“Have patience little ones. Have patience. Your sister is still coming.”

Another crack broke the egg. Then a small, black beak pushed its way through the hole.

“Come on out, Peasy. You can do it.” The mother bird touched her beak to the baby’s beak.

With one final push and crack, Peasy tumbled out of her egg. Even though her eyes were closed, she turned her head toward the light of the golden sun. She snuggled close to her mother’s warm feathers as she wondered at the new world she found outside this egg. Would it be like the dreams of her long sleep in the safety of her shell?

The young spring passed by in a flurry of eating and growing. Peasy’s father and mother took turns finding food and keeping their five babies warm. Peasy’s brothers and sisters made noise all day long.

“Give me the big worm!”

“Look at my new feathers! They are the softest and most beautiful in the world!”

“Look at my big, strong feet. I’ll be able to climb higher in the trees than anyone else!”

They bickered and grew fat and crowded the nest as they looked over the edge to the ground far below.

All but Peasy. She didn’t care about eating the biggest worms or having the most beautiful feathers. She loved to stare at the sky all day, watching the clouds change shape in the gentle breezes. When the clouds turned gray and opened into silver rain, Peasy opened her beak to drink in Mother Earth’s blessings while her brothers and sisters fussed over their damp feathers. It was true that the other baby sparrows were growing in beauty, while Peasy remained small and plain, but she grew in Wisdom, in understanding earth’s deep mysteries.

Peasy started each morning by chirping with the flowers that sprang up in the cheerful sunshine.

“Good morning daffodil! Good morning violet and daisy and pansy!”

“Good morning, Peasy,” they sang back. “It’s a beautiful morning! We love the darkened clouds and rain, we love the bright or dappled sun. Under the Creator’s generous bounty, we all live and love as One.”

The spring rains changed into long days of warm summer sun. The trees stretched their branches toward the sky, soaking in the light and growing strong.

“Enjoy the energy and life of summer,” the old oak tree would tell Peasy. “Grow strong, little one, for the days wiIl not be long forever. The Creator has given us our days of work and play, but also our days of rest. There are many seasons in the great cycle of life. Soon the time of darkness and rest will come.”

One hot summer afternoon, the mother bird came to the nest with a huge brown worm. “Eat up, my dears. You need energy. Today you are going to learn to fly!”

The young birds  jumped from the nest one by one. They hopped in the grass and flapped their wings, excited as they lifted their bodies a few inches off the ground.

Their father went out to look for more food. Their mother kept watch nearby, but the heat of the hazy humid afternoon, and the exhaustion of raising her brood, lulled her into sleepiness. The young sparrows kept up their constant chatter.

“Look at me! I’m so big and strong!”

“I will be the most beautiful bird flying in the whole sky!”

“I will fly so fast that no one will be able to keep up with me!”

As their proud boasts rang through the sky, a red hawk lighted into a nearby tree, watching their attempts with amusement. “Hmm, one of those foolish birds would make a nice snack.”

The trees rustled their leaves as loudly as they could in warning. The young birds kept up their games, not noticing the trees or anything else outside themselves as usual.

Peasy was busy talking to a small green caterpillar. “I’m so plain, so slow, so ugly,” he whispered and shook his whiskered head. “What purpose do I serve in this world?”

“Every Creature, no matter how big or small, plain or spectacular, has a place on the earth. The Creator takes joy in all of us.” Peasy looked up at the sky. “Besides,” she said, eyes bright. “Have you ever seen a butterfly?”

Just then she noticed the rustling of the trees. “Danger, danger,” she felt their silent shouts.

She looked up just in time to see the hawk swoop down from the tree, sharp claws pointed right at her siblings. Peasy ran and spread her wings in protection over her sister. The hawk caught  Peasy’s wing with his talon.

Just then thunder roared in the sky, the flash summer thunderstorm drowning out the hawk’s shriek. The clouds darkened the sky and poured humid rain as the hawk flew away to shelter.

The young birds huddled together at the base of a tree, too wet and too scared to attempt a flight back up to their nest. They put their bodies around Peasy, her wing hanging malshaped and useless at her side. They were shaking.

“Peasy, I’m sorry.”

“Peasy, are you ok?”

The thunder and commotion woke up their mother and she ran over to her brood. “Peasy, Peasy, my little baby,” she cried.

She snuggled Peasy under her soft wings and Peasy fell into a pained sleep, dreaming of hawks, danger, coldness, and cruelty in a dark world. She dreamed of ego and pain washed away, and the world restored to beauty and healing  in a great flood of tears of the Creator.

Summer sun gave way to a cascade of colorful fall leaves. All of Peasy’s brothers and sisters could fly and they went off all day, exploring the sky and searching for food. Peasy’s wing hung at a sharp angle from her body, useless for flight. But as she gazed up at the clouds she could hear the whispers of the Creator. “I love you Peasy. I see your pain, and I see your sacrifice. Take joy, little one, I sent you to earth for love and you are doing a great job.”

Peasy marveled as the flowers changed around her. The dandelion heads grew furry and then bald as the wind blew their seeds to wait in the earth for the next spring.

The sunflower grew tall and its petals surrounded a new globe of black and white seeds. She said, “Peasy, I give you my seeds. Save them for a dark day.”

“Thank you, Ms. Sunflower.” Peasy gathered the seeds that fell to the ground. She found a small hole in the old oak tree where she stored the seeds.

Peasy also found a safe refuge from the cold in that oak tree as the icy hands of winter shook the leaves off the trees and cast a white blanket on the ground. Food grew scare. Peasy shared her seeds with her family. When those ran low, the sparrows began to panic. But Peasy knew that even in the snowiest, darkest winter the Father would provide.

One morning Peasy found worms in the hole. The oak shivered and sighed in the cold wind.

“Are you ok, Mr. Tree?” Peasy chirped.

“Yes, Peasy, my days have been long and my body grows old. My spirit is ready to fly and be free.”

Peasy bowed her head in reverence and sadness.

“Peasy, don’t be troubled. The all-wise Creator has created this cycle of life and rebirth for all. There is joy to be found in even the darkest of realms, but I have lived my fullness and I am ready to see the kingdom.”

The tree breathed out his spirit and Peasy was filled with a strange warmth. ”Thank you, great teacher. I’ll see you again someday, ” she whispered.

The worms multiplied and kept Peasy and her family fed until the spring sun dawned once again on a new crop of life.

***

Has the cruelty of the world broken your wings and dreams? Just remember that no matter how long the winter seems to drag on, no matter the pain and heartache of this realm, spring’s sun is only a breath away, and the Creator always holds you in loving hands.

Matthew 10:29-31
New International Version (NIV)
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.[a] 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Victims, and Victory Through Perception

Victims, and Victory Through Perception

The snow falls around me,
snowflakes kissing my lashes,
tickling my nose.

I stick out my tongue
to taste the cool wetness on my lips,
and I remember the taste of peppermint
in the candy cane hot chocolate
of childhood winters.

I scoop a wet snowball
in my softly-mittened hands,
as the fast-falling flakes
circle my warm jacket
in an intimate embrace
of white.

I meditate on the moment,
knowing that, for this fleeting gesture,
this silent tick on the forward march of time,
I am at peace.

###

The snow falls around me
in a dizzying blaze of white arrows.
Sharp icicle darts,
are thrown from gray clouds
with angry, thunderous faces.

I duck my face
and cover my head against the storm.
Ice stings my eyes
as blood pounds against my reddened cheeks.

I shiver and curse the wind
that blazes through my coat and scarf,
to wraps its icy fingers around my veins.

Time ticks forward one more agonizing second,
and I wonder if I can last.
I rush forward,
blindly seeking a warm shelter,
a comforting friend,
in the frigid storm of white.

###

Victims, and Victory through Perception

This is my second Minnesota winter. I am still amazed by the vast amount of snow that falls here during the long, frigid winter months. As I watch the snow falling yet again, I am struck by the power of my thoughts.

To illustrate my point, I wrote two poems about the snow. The first is full of joy and wonder at the delights of winter; the second is full of agony and fear in the face of a winter storm. The snow remains the same, but the experiences and thoughts of the onlooker change.

Psychologists often say that your perception is your reality, and I believe this is true, for the most part. Now, some people take it so far as to say there is no such thing as a victim, there is only a “victim mentality.” I vehemently disagree with this; as long as evil exists in the world and people choose to commit evil acts, then there will be victims of the evil. I also don’t particularly like the teachings of the “The Secret.” I don’t believe that a vision board and simply thinking positive thoughts will always bring us prosperity, wealth, and happiness. YHWH, the Divine, is more interested in your spiritual prosperity, and sometimes that involves molding through the fire.

Still, when we find ourselves to be a victim of another, or of our circumstances, or even simply in pain from life’s many storms, we do have a choice how we frame the challenge in our mind. Please do not deny the pain; you must feel your emotions and listen to your heart, your inner voice, all the time. When this voice is a hurt and crying child, listen with patience and nurturing. Feel the pain, acknowledge the pain, and love yourself.

At the same time, try not to stay in the pain. With gentle words and slow, healing touches, coax that little child out to once again face the world. Re-frame the evil events in your life, the times you were victimized, and turn them into a positive. Meditate through the pain, dance over the injury, and come out victorious.

When the storm clouds gather, and the snow falls out of your sky, can you find the courage to somehow change the white daggers piercing your heart into gentle flakes kissing your eyelashes?

Peace, love, and healing, my friends.

Photo used freely, courtesy of ak-girl on stock.xchng

The Bodhi Fig Tree Journey

The Bodhi Fig Tree Journey

Legend has it that the Buddha sat under a fig tree on the day that he attained enlightenment. Perhaps this is too broad a saying; I don’t think enlightenment can be fully attained in one earthly lifetime. I believe full enlightenment will take a human soul thousands or millions of years and journeys through multiple spiritual dimensions. At any rate, meditating under the fig tree was an important part of the Buddha’s spiritual journey. This particular tree, ficus religiosa, now bears the name “Bodhi tree,” Bodhi meaning enlightenment in Sanskrit.

500 years later, another of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders had an encounter with a fig tree. Yeshua cursed a fig tree on his journey to Jerusalem during the end days of his earthly ministry. Matthew 21 and Mark 11 both tell this story. In both accounts, Yeshua saw a fig tree that was not bearing fruit, and he cursed it. During the same journey, he went to the temple and overturned the money tables.

At least that is the way the story goes in church. I think it was more like this: Yeshua became very angry at the sale of sacrifices going on in the most holy of places. Yeshua could not stand to see the oppression of the poor and the merchants turning the sacred into a sale. Coins flew to the ground like a hail storm, and doves flew overhead, confused at their sudden freedom from smashed cages. Goats ran out of the temple and down the street, somehow intuitively aware that their lives had been spared. People screamed, and the money changers cowered and cursed under their breath. Someone ran to get a priest to come help.

At the same time, something magical happened. According to the gospel of Matthew, the blind and the lame came to the temple and Yeshua healed them. I am sure the religious leaders were very angry at the destruction of their property and the disturbance inside their kingdom. But, somehow, they did not lay hand on the great healer while the sick flocked around.

What does all of this have to do with the fig tree? I believe that Yeshua was making a prophetic sign when he cursed the tree. He was saying that Israel had turned from her spiritual roots and become a fruitless tree. She no longer had the fruits of compassion and spiritual wisdom, the two greatest qualities that the Buddha also taught as the path to enlightenment.

See the connection? There is much debate as to whether Yeshua knew Buddhism or studied in India or any of these other intellectual questions. No doubt Buddhist thought, as well as many other religious and philosophical thoughts, permeated the Judean atmosphere of the time. The writings of Paul as well as world history readily demonstrate this. But whatever physical connection existed, there was certainly a spiritual connection between the ideas of the two great teachers.

So, the Buddha sat under a fig tree, and learned deep spiritual truths on his journey to enlightenment. Later, Yeshua cursed the fig tree on his journey to justice, as a sign to the people to turn back to the spiritual truths, namely the truth of compassion toward the poor and oppressed. On this same journey, Yeshua made the ultimate sacrifice of his life for the sins of the people. Maybe that is partly why he was so upset to see sacrifices both cheapened and made inaccessible by the money system. Money, and the oppression it brings, cannot exist alongside the holy, and caused the fruit of Israel’s tree to die.

Interestingly, Yeshua later told another parable about a fig tree (Matthew 24:32-42). He told his disciples to watch the sign of the fig tree, that when the leaves come out we know that summer is near. In the same way, we should watch out for the coming of the Son of Man, the establishment of true justice, and the end of earth as we know it now. Yeshua preached over and over that the greatest use of a person’s life is to inwardly prepare for the kingdom of heaven. Similarly, the Buddha taught that we must journey inward to the state of nirvana, overcoming ego, desire, want, and pain on the way. Similar teachings, deep spiritual truths. Both framed by a lowly fig tree.

Welcome to the journey of the fig tree, my friends.

 Photo used freely, courtesy of adrahon on stock.xchng

Stroller in the Snow

Photo used courtesy of Sharon Mollerus on flickr.com
Photo used courtesy of Sharon Mollerus on flickr.com

The wind howled furiously around her, like a pack of ravenous wolves ready to devour the first living thing who dared to venture out in the bitter cold. She struggled and limped through the piles of snow on the sidewalk. Her husband walked beside her, mightily pushing their three-year-old son in his stroller, wheels catching and bowing to the pressure of the flakes, hardened by wind and footprints into biting balls of ice.

The young family decided to try to walk on the street, where snow plows had helped clear a way. Almost immediately, cars veered dangerously close to the child, and drivers angrily honked their horns. “Why don’t you get a job?” one driver yelled out as he hastily rolled his window down and back up. The woman bowed her head deeper as she thought about the years of schooling, her carefully crafted thesis, her pride when she walked across the stage to receive her master’s diploma. All for what? A low-wage, low-respect job with little opportunity for advancement. But “get a job?” She did work 40 hours a week already!

Indeed, she felt lucky to have any job. On a brighter, warmer day, she had owned a car and a better job. She had just married the love of her life, and the future looked hopeful as the bright morning sun. Soon, too soon, threatening storm clouds crowded out her sun, and the rain of life circumstances stole away her job.

A year after the wedding, she and her husband joyfully welcomed their new son into the world, but the pregnancy had destroyed all of her job interviews, and the bad economy winked at the selective racism discriminating against her dark-skinned husband as he struggled to find work. The mounting bills forced the family out of their heat and then out of their home by the time the infant was only three months old. They found friends to live with for a while, and then their car become their home.

That car was good to them and took them on a journey across the country to finally find a job and pay for housing once again. Life was getting better. But then the car, creaky and cantankerous as any soul who has lived past the fullness of her days, finally breathed her last, sputtering and sighing gently into death on the side of the road.

So here they were now, battling a snowy sidewalk, empty refrigerator mocking the hollow pain in their hearts. They finally made it into the warm air of the grocery store, festively decorated with holiday trees surrounded by the sounds of Salvation Army bells and piped-in songs proclaiming Merry Christmas and peace to all. As she stomped the snow off her boots, she thought about another mother long ago. “No room in the inn or in the hearts of men,” she thought. “Maybe nothing has really changed.”

They walked the aisles of the grocery store, carefully selecting items that fit into the carefully-planned, bursting-at-the-seams budget. They were grateful for the food, though, thanking God that their stomachs would be full tonight. They brought their food to the checkout counter and pulled out their food stamp card. They felt the angry stares bore holes into their backs and burn yet another scar into their hearts. “You are not welcome here. You takers. You just take and take from those who truly work hard.” The unspoken words thickened the air. She was suffocating, drowning in their hatred.

They left the store and turned back home. The cold wind sucked the air out of their lungs, and their small child began to cough. She reached down to pull the blanket up around his face, and a tear escaped from her eye and dropped glistening on her child’s forehead. She bent down and kissed him. “I love you so much.”

A divine voice whispered in her heart, “I love you so much, too.” She stood up and looked at the sky as the sun suddenly appeared from behind a snowy cloud. A beam of warmth landed on her face.

“But, God, life was never supposed to be this way.” She sniffed back tears and struggled hard against the depression, the hopelessness that threatened to engulf her life and snuff out the sunbeams.

“I know, my child. I see the cold hearts of people, I see how they’ve forgotten their oneness and their Creator and have become evil and oppressive to each other. I see it, and I will remember. Have hope. I am coming soon to restore righteousness on the earth. One day all will be well.”

She took a step forward and the air felt a little less cold, the wind a little less strong. She smiled. She thought about how healing begins with the least of these, and, somehow, she had been chosen by the mighty Creator for this journey.

Photo used courtesy of sskies on stock.xchng
Photo used courtesy of sskies on stock.xchng

The Dandelion and the Truth of Love

The Dandelion and the Truth of Love

It is quickly becoming winter here in Minnesota. We even had our first snow flurries today! But as I walked on an errand, I saw some brave dandelions still raising their gray, fluffy heads to the sky. I wrote a blog post some time ago about the brave dandelion, and here I revisit the flower with this poem.

Blowing dandelions
in the wind,
cottony white puffs,
softly shining joy and hope,
reminding me of childhood
against a cloudy and bleak sky.

Each seed is a promise,
which will grow into a yellow youth,
deepen into a furry white old age,
and finally give itself up,
in another cloud of seeds,
in love,
in the cycle of earth.

The dandelion whispers to me,
cajoles me gently,
asks me to pause and listen,
as I pass on my hurried way.

Her words are faint, but clear,
“Stop, rest, take joy.
For this moment.

“Ponder, wonder, learn
the natural cycle of love.”

Oh, that we would all take time
to see the little dandelion.
That we would not scoff its simplicity,
or, worse,
call it a weed,
call it the unwanted.

For only in contemplating
the small and the unwanted,
and in drinking the cycles
of the natural rhythms
of season-time,
can we ever discover the Truth
of Love.

Photo used freely, courtesy of Jo Brown on stock.xchng

The Life Cycle of the Dandelion

dandelion
Photo used royalty free, courtesy of anitab0000 on stock.xchng

As I slog through a cold, wet Minnesota spring, I am encouraged to see the signs of life all around me. Neither the depths of the dark, frigid winter nor the downpours of the damp, tempestuous spring can prevent the excitement and life of summer from arriving.

I walked to work this morning with my umbrella plastered around my body, guarding against the beaded wetness of the May sky. I turned my eyes toward the ground, and suddenly I noticed a spark of yellow. A dandelion braved its way through the storm to reach for the hidden sun.

This hopeful little flower reminded me of another, brighter day in which my young son picked dandelions. The sun dappled his small hands as he delightedly scooped up the flowers, their yellow heads transformed into cotton balls of white. The white of wisdom. The white of weathered seasons. The knowing of life and death, and the gift of those seeds to the next generation.

Such is the humble dandelion. So many people call it a weed, but it is a miracle. Its flower has a short life, only a few precious weeks. Yet beneath the yellow youth and the white seniority hides a rebirth. You see, the dandelion plant lives a long life, or many lives. It throws its roots deep and it flowers many times.

Our life is like that of the dandelion. We live a short time on this earth. Like the grass of the field, the Bible says. Here today, gone tomorrow.

We start out our journey here with joy, little babies basking in the yellow sunshine of life. We grow and we see sorrow and joy, pain and healing. We end our journey with our hair cotton white, our minds full of wisdom, and our seeds to offer the next generation.

Too often, we anxiously pack our days full, a brimming suitcase ready for another opportunity that we think will bring us joy. Or, perhaps, we keep a full suitcase just in the hope of impressing others. Busy for the sake of busy.

Rarely do we pause to consider the end.

But is it the end? Like the lowly dandelion, our roots are deep. We are spiritual beings, throwing forth a flower and seeds into this sun, while our tap root firmly anchors us to the other side. We pack our suitcases for this journey, but we neglect to prepare for the splendors of eternity. In vain hope, we throw our seeds into the winds of earthly fame and glory, but we forget to save some of these seeds for the inner world, the world of understanding and wisdom.

No matter how much we call it a weed, the dandelion knows itself. It knows the wisdom of inner beauty and a life reborn. Do we know the same?

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