Blooming in Darkness

A special reader reminded me of this post today. It’s from a few years back now, but it feels like a perfect message to myself right now. Maybe for you too?

From a recent newsletter –

A strange bloom appeared in my kitchen today: elegantly twisted like a dragon on Chinese New Year, purple, and pungent.

The aged chunk of purple cabbage that I had put under the sink for the compost bin, refused to wilt quietly into the darkness. It burst through the bag that was containing it, and found new life somehow in the dim recesses of my cabinetry. It flowered into something unexpected, and unusually, fiercely beautiful. At least to me.

I try to see the messages of the natural world, and this was a like an air horn getting my attention.

You see where this is going, right? What makes up compost? The rejected bits, the stuff we let sit too long, maybe even things we’ve bought by mistake, or over purchased. It’s also the extras left over from all the delicious things we’ve been lucky enough to eat and drink. The dark coffee grounds, the silky mango skins, the few remaining red raspberries gone soft. If we’re patient it all turns into a rich sloop that will nourish the soil of some future plants. The compost metaphor is a little overused, but solid.

Often the cycles of the natural world take time to come to fruition, and it’s a challenge to be patient. But sometimes, things turn around fast! Faster than we think possible. It feels like we are in one of those times when there is the possibility for fast movement. At least it can be powerful to remember that possibility, and keep energy focused there. It’s one of the messages I heard loud and clear when I saw the beautiful cabbage bloom.

Sometimes when things dissolve, fly apart, or seemingly go wrong (fill in the blank to suit your situation), the beauty that can potentially emerge, is seen quickly and surprisingly if we don’t hang on to the trauma too tightly.

Many people are trying really hard to hold themselves together right now. Things feel chaotic and overwhelming personally, environmentally, and culturally. Otherwise grounded folks are having some cognition issues. Compassion fatigue is setting in. Our patience is running thin.

It’s a complex time. For me, connecting with nature always helps. When something delightful and unexpected happens, it’s like a shot of joy encouraging me. I understand I am probably in the minority as a person whose mood turns giddy and optimistic upon finding a blooming semi-moldy cabbage flower under the kitchen sink. But be open to finding your unexpected joy wherever it lies. Even if you feel overwhelmed and alone and despairing today. You are not alone. And, come on, look at this thing. It’s gorgeous, right?

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

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Wishing you a peaceful heart,

©2018 Mara Bishop

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