Pooped today. I’ve done a lot to be expansive (energetically speaking) the last few days. Performing with Samba is a very therapeutic adrenaline rush – always good to give those sluggards a zap! (um, I mean my adrenals, not the audience). Connecting with the crowd, being a conduit of joy is a pretty awesome experience to have.
But I can’t do it all the time. And after such an expansion, I need contraction, and solitude. So today’s post comes later in the day, I really needed time to rest (I was feeling pretty wobbly) and just as necessary was the need to be alone and quiet, not talking, not even to a keyboard.
The most productive thing I did today was crawl out into the sunshine this evening, while the sun was sliding sideways through those new green leaves, and putter a bit on my patio. I cleared the detritus from a couple of last years pots and planted some seeds. God, it sure feels good to get my hands in the dirt! There’s just something so life-affirming about moist soil, and the nestling in of new seeds. Hope.
Hope. Something I think a lot about these days and whether it is rational, whether it is worth the risk. I was talking to a friend who was working on letting go more, and when the topic of hope came up she was vehement: hope is something to grab hold of with everything you’ve got. Period. That sounded like a very wise and true statement to me, but I don’t think either one of us could really reconcile grabbing hold of hope, while still approaching the world with non-attachment, always willing to let go.
Poking those seeds in the dirt today made hope make much more sense. I do it every year, put something in those plant pots. It’s always an act of hope – but I never know what will come of it: early frost, hailstorm, too much shade and plants that grow but never reach fruition. I’ve had some great years and I’ve had some pretty lame ones. But every year I plant.
Hope is about planting the seeds, letting go is about recognising you’re not really in control after that. Whatever will be will be. You do your best and roll with whatever the outcome is. But nothing happens if you don’t plant. If you don’t hope. If you don’t take the risk and try.
Even the year the hailstorm wiped out my giant sunflowers, just on the verge of blooming, I’ve never said: “Well screw that! I’m not taking the risk and planting anything next year. Look what hope got me, nothing but devastation and disappointment!” No, next year I planted again, though maybe something different, but I planted all the same. Simply because I can’t imagine not.
Don’t know why it’s so hard to extrapolate that idea to the rest of my life. To hope, to try, to keep taking steps forward – no matter what the outcome, no matter the past disappointments.
Hope is an innate act of living. There’s no way around it. Letting go is a necessary part of being okay with what happens with that life.
Go plant some seeds, you’ll remember that.
2 thoughts on “Day 26 – solitude, seeds, and hope”
I love the idea of seeds as an analogy for hope. I too like to plant in the spring. It’s kind of funny because my daughter just shakes her head every time I bring a new plant into the house. I’m not what you’d call a Green Thumb. In fact my daughter calls me the Black thumb, sort of like a plant’s version of the Black Death.
Even though one of my talents is not getting green things to thrive and grow, I continue to try. I guess I’m persistent because I continue to hope that my hands will be able to nurture some little seedling to grow into a large plant.
So far my only success is at my workplace where I’m known as the official plant care person. I’ve saved two plants from dying and being thrown in the garbage. In fact one became quite lush and beautiful until I returned it to it’s original owner. I now have a jungle growing on my office wall and the other plant that avoided the garbage is growing tendrils that are entwining into the window blind. I have played a little private joke to anyone who takes the time to look at the plants in my office. I have placed two very small toy knights with swords and shields upraised to fight the verdant onslaught. It sort of my tribute to the knight who has to hack his way to Sleeping Beauty.
I think the plants that I saved from the rubbish heap felt that I hadn’t given up hope on them. Maybe that’s why they didn’t give up hope on me.