My new morning ritual is to start my day with the spiritual teacher, Anne Lamott, an author, grandmother, and Sunday School Teacher. I love her because she is a great storyteller. In one of her stories she says, “If you want to help kids fall in love with God, help them fall in love with nature.” I type these words as a cool breeze kisses my skin and the howl of the cicada bugs calls from the trees.
A few years ago, on a cold winter night in Brooklyn, Matt and I were walking home from somewhere. On our trek home, we came across a huge plant in a big blue bag thrown out with the trash. I am ready to walk on but Matt stoops down, opens the bag and sees a tropical plant fighting for her life on the coldest of nights. All of her frauns are slumped over, as if she is sad. A plant just knocking on death’s door is trash in my eyes. But Matt sees a spark of life and a fight not yet over. I think, what’s the point?
We took her home. She is crowned Paradise, named for her species. She is given a new pot, her leaves tied up by string, her stems held up by poles. For a few months she sits in the corner, searching for the light and barely breathing. Then one day I notice, one, two, three new frauns curled up and ready to emerge- stronger than ever. It continues, more frauns, more life. As the months go on, Paradise sits and laughs at my limiting beliefs of her and her capacity. She proves that she is much stronger than I think.
How many times do we sit slumped over, tired, downtrodden and wondering how we will go on? Ready to give up – on hope, love, or life- so, so, so over it all. But deep within us, we simply can’t give up. Something inside of us won’t allow it. Something within reminds us of our strength or resilience. Sometimes the moments we think are the end are the moments a new chapter begins. The moments on the mat where we struggle to find balance in a dancer’s pose- the constant shake of our foot trying to stabilize the little stabilizing muscles in our feet so for just one second we can balance. Or we think we can’t hold this plank a breath longer and we do. We move through the crisis and swim to the other shore. We get knocked down and get up again. We realize we are stronger than before.
Paradise continues to defy the odds. Her godly lessons repeated again and again. Odds are I still have not learned the subject matter fully, and perhaps I am learning that she is the teacher, and I am her student. We put her outside on the deck too early – the winter chill still lingering in the spring air and the sun above too bright. Once again, I think this is the end; Paradise won’t make it through. And then, one, two, three, six new leaves appear- shorter, smarter, and stronger- ready to face the elements.
Nurture your Nature
Go take a walk, a sit, or a lay down in nature.
Phone away, eyes open, smell the smells, hear the sounds, and just be with ‘God’ (or whatever you choose to call it).
Inspiration Station ✨