Learning to Thrive

The vegetation that grows in the high desert, especially the flowers, fascinates me.  That such beautiful flowers can grow in these arid conditions provides much fodder for amazement and spiritual symbolism.  Some of these beautiful flowers grow from cactus and some bloom then turn to thorns. There is tumbleweed that is beautifully green while it grows but sharp with thorns. In fall and winter it dies and turns grey-brown and even more dangerously thorny. This becomes the blowing mass of tumbleweed immortalized in song and people’s imaginations as a symbol of the west.  Then there is the plant that I especially love. It is a beautifully perfect rounded bouquet of yellow flowers, lasting for months with little water.

Somehow the flowers of the high desert bloom and grow despite the arid conditions.  Some are prickly and dangerous to touch and some are beautiful and fleeting and some like my friends the yellow flowers thrive and last for the summer.  It does remind me of people.  Some people thrive and bloom in harsh conditions and some do not.  Some people stay prickly and wizened in beneficial conditions while others thrive.  What makes the difference?  It has to come within.

The flowers of the high desert have found a way to survive.  People find ways to survive.  Some survive but they do not thrive, they remain stunted deep in their fear of going inward. Yet this is the only way for love to bloom and thrive.  We think that we must shut ourselves up in our walls in order to survive in this fearful world.  We grow thorns to prevent ourselves from being hurt, to protect ourselves. That which we bury inside us, denying it the light of love, to paraphrase the Dan Heymann apartheid protest song, it does not sleep, it does not roar, it weeps.

Somehow my bouquet of yellow flowers has found a way to thrive in arid conditions without thorns, just perfectly beautiful.  I like the symbolism of this.  We find God’s love inside of us, the love that allows us to thrive and bloom in any type of outside conditions.  Love, happiness, spiritual sustenance is all found within.  We will never bloom by looking for sustaining love outside of us or burying our fear.  It reminds me of another line from another song by Joe Henry and John Jarvis. When we recognize that we have the eternal spring of love inside us, we become like “the flower that shattered the stone.”

Categories General Spiritual Musings | Tags: | Posted on July 2, 2012

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