By Deb Avery
There are deep truths in nature that often remain hidden until we are ready to see.
Of all the teachers I have had in my many years walking on this beautiful Earth, nothing has taught me as gracefully and deeply as nature. What can I say to encompass all her wonders? She is the greatest force on the planet and one of the most eloquent teachers.
Her lessons sometimes come in bursts of lovely blossoms from the earthy soil beneath our feet. Sometimes they come from the mighty trees that help us breath, or the winding rivers and oceans that run deep and true. Or, perhaps from the beautiful sky above, home to the sunshine, rains, the moon and stars.
But there are times when her lessons can be harsh and destructive. Sometimes they leave ruin and disaster in their wake. Yet it is often from these ruins that new and wonderful beginnings emerge.
Nature is cyclic and she teaches with equality to all. Humans are just one of her many children here and she does not hesitate to remind us that fact when we begin to believe we are above the animals, waters and plants that share this planet with them.
One does not have to travel the world over to learn all the lesson that nature has to teach. Everything we need to know is found in her essence—which runs deeply in all of her creations—including ourselves.
And none of her children teach her lessons better than that of the lowly wildflower.
Wildflowers do not compete or worry about their worth. They simply bloom wherever they find themselves planted. Sometimes we find masses of them in fields and along roadsides. They grow along riverbeds, garbage dumps, and even between the cracks in concrete in the cities.
The glorify even the most lowly of places in the height of their season, and then, after it is over, they do not wallow in self-pity or bemoan their fate.
They let go. They wither and die.
But then an amazing thing happens from the decay left behind. As their blossoms dry, they release new seeds into the soil where they will rest until spring. Snuggling deep into the fertile soil they wait. Soon the soil with warm and they will germinate. Such a busy and energetic time! At last, they will push through the soil and feel the warm sun upon their stems. And soon thereafter they will be reborn in greater abundance, and with more blossoms than before.
Have you ever looked at a wildflower and saw the treasures it truly holds in a single blossom? Or do you look at the wildflower and see a lowly plant less majestic than the nursery grown, pampered, store bought flowers in the garden? Do you simply see a weed?
Something amazing can happen if you bring yourself to slow down and contemplate a single blossom of a wildflower. Stop, breathe deeply, and let your mindfulness cradle the delicate stems, leaves and blossoms.
If you look patiently, lovingly and deeply, you will see the essence of everything within that one wildflower. You will see both the entire universe—and yourself.
We all carry that same spark of life. We all have the essence of nature within. We all begin as a seed and are cultivated by our environments. Depending on the circumstances (or sometimes despite them) we either bloom or fail to thrive.
We do the best we can with what we have been given, where we are planted. And even if we find ourselves in a difficult, harsh environment, such as the wildflower in the city between the cracks in the cement, we can bloom nonetheless.
There is also another trait we share with our brothers and sisters of the wildflowers:
Wildflowers are beautiful and graceful and can light up even the most dingy and dark corners of the world. But when massed together—they shine a light that is so brilliant, it encircles the world. We do not need a fancy garden or miles and miles of woodlands to connect with the essence of the wildflower. We can find it within ourselves and within one simple flower wherever it may cross our path.
I hope you have the pleasure and peace of finding the beauty, grace and majesty of the wildflower—and your beautiful self.
Editor: Dana Gornall