The Beauty of Transformation

Dazzling green and metallic blue dragonflies transformed my summer to autumn.  Taking in the colorful, changing fall landscape yesterday amid September temps, I was mesmerized when a silvery gold dragonfly as sparkly as Christmas ribbons landed on my garden chair.  We both sat perfectly still for the next few minutes, its lipstick red mirrored dots on gossamer wings captivating me.

018 My dragonfly

Surely, clothing and fabric designers must get their ideas from nature I thought.  And then my view cast to the maple tree reflected in the pond, and the pathway illuminated from a myriad of golds, greens, browns, oranges and reds that painted the cherry, pear, oak, magnolia and unidentified trees.

cropped-100_1648-autumn-favorite-b1.jpg

 I felt awestruck that nature could be so endlessly beautiful, even while dying.

But, then I decided to look at it another way.  Just as the dragonfly transforms so does the tree.  It may shed leaves until it stands stark and bare but there is a regenerative undercurrent; it is not approaching death, it is transforming, preparing for another season, for another time, for the vitality of Spring.

My view of the seasons reflecting life — birth (spring), prime of life (summer), mid-life (autumn) and end of life (winter) — has also transformed.  No longer do I see only one life cycle.  Nature is teaching me more about life and what I use to call death.  More and more, I am convinced the end is not the end per se.  Life, for us, for trees, for seeds has many cycles.  I’d much prefer to think I’ll continue to grow and evolve than to die back and out.  The roses return.  Perennials too.  Trees grow new leaves and bloom in the spring.  Again and again and again.

Who’s to Say?

Sometimes things don’t work out as we planned.  Sometimes, oftentimes, gifts appear in unexpected places or they don’t look like what we envisioned.  We think it should be something else and too quickly pass it by.

10-15-17 045 Moms cat

When I was very young — about five or six, I desperately wanted a kitten. What kid doesn’t at that age?  For my seventh birthday my Mom gave me a white fluffy cat with wide-surprise eyes curled up in its three-inch green basket.   Yes, I said “three-inch” basket.  It was a tiny tchotchke.  Feeling terribly disappointed, I didn’t understand my Mom’s cat allergy.  Decades later, I still have that tiny memento; its white fur deteriorated with time.

 

This week I nearly trampled over a viola.  How odd, I thought, that it jumped from the flower pot to the other side of the sidewalk.  Oftentimes, I’ve planted something in one place only to have it pop up somewhere else like the mound of irises that left the garden plot to live on the pond bank.  Who’s to say they were better off in the garden? Who’s to say a gift is not a gift?  I don’t dismiss things so easily anymore.10-15-17 031 blue viola

Have you ever had your heart set on something but too quickly passed off what was presented because it did not look the way you thought it should?  Please do tell.

 

Daily Prompt: Coincidence…

via Daily Prompt: Coincidence

…is a word I’ve replaced with synchronicity mostly after working through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way book.  Before that, I viewed coincidence in the sense that there are no coincidences, meaning God has a hand in everything.  And I’m not referring to God of any particular religion but God as in a Higher Power.

When my thinking evolved toward synchronicity, I continued to view things in a spiritual way.   Like manifesting my dreams.  I became more aware and more in tuned to the little things that were helping me along my way.

My most recent synchronistic experience relates to my lifelong dream of visiting Scotland, along with some other recent nudges.  Since practicing Qigong the last few years, my thoughts of God and the Universe are directed toward nature which has led to an interest in studying the Tao.  Participating in World Tai Chi & Qigong Day (WTCQ) has also been on my list but scheduling conflicts prevented me from taking part in this annual international event.  (It’s always held at 10AM on the last Saturday of April.)

But, this year I was free to drive an hour-and-a-half to participate in WTCQ Day with a group of seeming strangers in a lovely rolling green park dotted with blooming cherry blossoms.  (A favorite springtime site that takes my breath away.)  Imagine my delight when I heard the announcement, “We have a monthly discussion group on the Tao.  If anyone is interested please see me for details.”   Wow!  Did I hear that right?  Two dreams come true via one event.

A month or so afterward, while perusing Dr. Elaine Aron’s website for Highly Sensitive Persons (HSPs),  she discussed spiritual pilgrimages and the varieties to choose from.  Hmmm.  I began rethinking my trip to Scotland.  I never travel as a typical touristy tourist and having a loose framework of where I want to go, this concept appealed to me.

Then, when I first attended the Tao discussion meeting in July, I learned that one of their mutual friends runs sacred travel pilgrimages in Scotland.  Woo hoo!  Synchronicity at it’s finest, I’d say.  A week later I ran into a fellow yogi I hadn’t seen for a while.  “I  just got back from Scotland yesterday,” she reported.  “Already I can’t wait to go back!” She smiled and I smiled too.  Another confirmation the Universe was guiding me toward satisfying this long time desire.

Coincidence and synchronicity are mystical experiences for me.  My thinking has changed over the years from too good to be true to believe in the magic.   Awareness is the key for so many things, and particularly for unlocking the gifts of this phenomenon.  I believe synchronicity is happening all the time, I only need open my eyes and see.  Then, I open my heart in gratitude and smile wide.jongjit-pramchom-211559 cherry blossom

 

Rewind

Staying in the moment

is going back

September 2017 Mushrooms 006

and taking that photo

right then and there.

There’s lots of talk about “staying in the moment,” but for me and my busyness, it’s more a matter of returning to the moment.  I nearly missed this photo two weeks ago when a colorful mushroom caught my eye but I accidentally ran it over with the lawnmower before getting a photo.  I was given a second chance this week. 

Most of the photos I take are surprises from nature.  Too often I’ve regretted not having my camera in these exact moments.  Now, I always throw my camera in my bag before a drive.  And when I see something that speaks to me, I stop, pull over, or turn around if necessary and return to that moment.  The photo preserves the pleasure.

 

Come Together

I’ve just returned from a smooth jazz festival in Cancun.  Based on the line-up, I knew the music would be excellent but I hadn’t counted on it raining every day.   This could have ruined a beach vacation but instead restored my hope in humankind.

Moving the outdoor stage indoors due to the rain created extremely long delays.  Attendees grew agitated standing in the hot, crowded lobby waiting for a show 2 hours past due.  Several shrieking whistle calls and nearly universal “Shhh!” tried to temper angry shouts from the crowd blaring out explanation of the delay.   Even after the update, offer of chairs and cold drinks, some stiffly crossed their arms while drilling holes into the doors with their glaring eyes.

And then something happened.  Programmed music came on and a few started dancing.  And then a few more.  I could feel the shift.  More and more people began dancing until most of the grumbling lobby turned into a dance floor of good vibes and smiles.

Watching the people transform an unpleasant situation into an uplifting one was magic before my eyes.   (After that night, attendees danced to programmed music from any delay until show time.)

I think a lot of us learned from that experience — if the people come together and choose light, it will be light.  Just ask, “Do I feel better complaining or does it make me feel more miserable?  Does staying angry make me feel powerful,  in control?  Or do I feel better being part of the solution?”

A postscript…message received from a friend this evening…

“Peace of mind is an internal matter.
It must begin with your own thoughts
and then extend outward.
It is from your peace of mind
that a peaceful perception of the world
arises.”
                                                     — A Course in Miracles
 
And so it is.  I have seen it before my own eyes.