Every morning I check its progress, this rosebud that is quietly, steadily, gently blooming. I pick up the vase and hold it close to my face, close enough that I can feel the soft petals as l breathe deeply.
When my husband, Matt, decided to plant rose bushes around the trees in our front and back yard, I insisted that he choose the most fragrant bushes he could find. What’s the point of being surrounded by roses if you can’t stop and smell them, right? And now our kitchen is never without at least one little rose to remind me of, well, of everything. To slow down, to notice, to breathe deeply, to play and enjoy, to rest, to grow, to open.
Most recently, this little flower is reminding me to let go and allow, to bloom naturally. Because really, there is no other way to bloom. Oh, we can create conditions that encourage a flower to bloom, but we can’t peel back each petal and force the blooming in our own time, in our own way, on our own schedule. I came across this time lapse video of the corpse flower, which grows for over a decade before blooming (and good thing, too, because it’s stinky!). All we can do is watch and wait:
I think where I get stuck with this lesson, this reminder from the rose in my kitchen, is that it’s not news to me. I know this. I’ve learned it already. Been there; done that. I’d like to think that I could move on to another lesson, now that I’ve mastered the ability to stop trying to control everything or rush to the end and simply trust the process and enjoy each moment of the journey. Aha! Success! But as it turns out, I’m not an annual flower. I’m a perennial. I’m born again, and again. I grow and bloom again, and again. I wither and die again, and again. I learn, and I forget. Like Socrates said, learning is really just remembering the knowledge we’ve always had. Like St. Benedict said, we are always beginners.
I’m reminded of this old TED Talk about how we always think we’re finished becoming ourselves, and we’re always wrong. So I guess I’m not alone!
I wrote in my prayer journal: I guess I’m being invited to experience healing without the expectation that it will happen in a certain way at a certain time, letting go of control and trusting the process, trusting the source, trusting the other, the Holy other. So basically just all the lessons I’ve been learning wrapped into one. Jesus’ desire is for me and intention is for me, so I will let go and let God (to be trite). I will relax and release, like a flower gently allowing itself to bloom. I will BLOOM NATURALLY.
Do you ever find yourself frustrated at having to learn the same lessons over again?
Where in your life right now might God be inviting you to relax and release, to let go and allow, to bloom naturally?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below!