Gathering Rosebuds

by Jennifer on March 20, 2008

Thursday, March 20th, 2008gathering rosebuds

It isn’t quite time yet…for the rosebuds. The hot pink camelias outside our kitchen windows are blooming absolutely shamelessly. It is a saving grace. The white and pink blossoms on fruit trees are blushing with life everywhere I go. But there are a few more phases of spring before the wild roses begin to bud. When they do you know summer is really going to come.

Every year I go out and pick them, in forests and on roadsides, and they perform on me a kind of alchemy I have never found elsewhere. They completely intoxicate me with their unbelievable smell (worlds within worlds) and the stickiness they leave on my fingers, and their endless shades of deep and perfect pinks.

They aren’t here, but I know they are coming, and I have them to look forward to. And in the meantime I feel as if I am already gathering them…just by looking at my life.

On my birthday this year we rented a room near where we live, and not even leaving the island we felt like we were taking a trip. Sometimes just changing your environment and being in a neutral space can give you such a sense of perspective, freedom, and renewal. I love to reflect. And a birthday, especially this one, was a great time to do just that. I found some surprises. I found that there were far fewer photos from my past that I wanted to add to my new photo album than I thought there would be. All the photos from my lifetime are in boxes, and I thought I would finally make an album. I set dozens aside, but when it really came time to start placing them I had the great realization that I only wanted to add the ones that brought me joy to see.

I realized that as much as I love my friends from my past that didn’t make it into my present, I have let them go. And that was a relief. Far from meaning I don’t love them anymore, it may even mean I am free to love them more.

I realized that most of what I wanted to see were reflections of myself…either in images of me or of those in whom I could see myself or my love reflected. And I didn’t feel ashamed of that at all. We all want to see ourselves truly. It is the only way we will ever see others truly too.

And then all the things that felt conflicting in my life, or confusing, seemed to be rubbed clean…and started to have a golden glow. And I realized that gratitude, real gratitude, will redeem anything. It heals all. It rises above duality and paradox, and transcends dark illusions and heavy burdens. When we can feel gratitude for all that has passed in our lives, we are suddenly whole.

I know another thing about gratitude, and this is that it can’t be forced. It has to be naturally-occurring, like sexual desire. It has to come in its own time and in its own way, and then, to get the most it has to offer, we just need to open fully to it.

Many times in the past when I had finished a reading with someone I felt overwhelmed. But not in a tired or drained way…no…just overwhelmed with some energy I couldn’t name at first. And then one day I realized it was gratitude and I let it wash over me, like a wave…and found a deep and sweet resolution and release. It is like a song pouring out of me when it happens, and yet filling me up instead.

Lately I have been finding that that it simply wants to happen more…about all kinds of things, even things that carry pain for me or once did. It just seems to be there waiting for me at so many turns…and I welcome it. I am ready for it. Looking at my life this way, past and present, is like one long day of gathering rosebuds. And they are all, somehow, so sweet…and bittersweet…and sweet…

Suddenly, when one spends life gathering rosebuds (while they may), there is no more regret, or shame, or even judgment. There is nothing left of the facts and the stories…just a deep fragrance from a very long summer you will always know in your heart.

May this summer live forever in your heart, may gratitude naturally find you and seduce you into surrendering to it, and may you therefore remember that all you are ever doing, is gathering rosebuds…


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