Nature’s BridesPosted: June 11, 2012
It’s June and the Agapanthus is popping open. By the end of the week, I will have gorgeous white blooms stretching down the length of the house that I built 30 years ago. When I planted these long stemmed beauties they were purple but a few years later they reverted to white. The plants cost a dollar each and even so, I really felt ripped off.
Those Agapanthus plants have turned out to be one of the best bargains I ever made even if they did change colors about 25 years ago. They blossom faithfully every June and decorate my pink stucco house for most of the summer. Once I stopped resisting the change in color, I enjoyed their loveliness.
They may look delicate as they wave on their long stems but they are tough and resilient. Those plants are living testimony to the fact that we should not make snap judgments about whether something is good or bad. They are a significant clue in one of my life’s most important lessons. I have learned a lifetime of lessons, usually after a bit of resistance.
I am a teacher by trade but not a day goes by that I don’t also become a student. Think about your life for a moment. What have you learned after your school days were over?
Last week, in my Emerson class, one of my favorite people said she thought that after age 40 we are free to learn so much more. I’ve forgotten her exact words but the idea was that the pressure is off when we mature and we can look around and see things more intelligently.
She’s probably right. All I really know is that I used to be angry because Nature didn’t conform to my vision and keep my Agapanthus plants purple. Now, instead of anger and disappointment every June, I see a long line of delicate white lace-dressed brides dancing in the wind. Nature had a different plan than I did and I have learned not to argue with Mother Nature.
Last week, our reading was Emerson’s essay Spiritual Laws and one of his themes was that Nature’s plan is greater than our human will. My dancing June brides are proof of that. Emerson’s greater theme was that we should trust Nature (God) and I am also beginning to learn that lesson at a deeper and deeper level.
Spiritual Laws, like all of his other essays, contains many magnificent ideas and fabulous sentences that become perfect quotes to live by. It is here that I found one of my favorite pieces of wisdom when he says that the finite (circumstances) pass but the, “infinite lies in smiling repose”. Soon after, he asks, “So hot my little man?”
Looking backward, it is easy to see the many times when I was so hot and bothered about some circumstance that simply dissolved in time. Nature may not always have brought me exactly what I wanted but Nature knew how to bring me a new vision and/or something I would call better.
Learning to trust God or Nature is a lifelong lesson. I can observe that my contemporaries who have gained a portion of that trust are the happy ones. I am also trying to gain happiness by learning to trust God. It helps me to think of a Higher Power, whether I call it Nature or God or the Power For Good, who is lying in smiling repose despite the fact that I am in turmoil.
Truth is, most problems seem like a tempest in a teapot when they are over. In retrospect it seems silly to worry about the lilac blossoms you purchased reverting to white. They are just as lovely as ever and while I couldn’t find any reason in the gardening sources I consulted, I’m sure that Nature had a Divine Plan. At least the result seems divine to me.
I am truly grateful for the faithful service of those plants. Who could expect anything like the length of survival from plants that were purchased at a dollar each. The purchase works out to 3 and 1/3 cents a year and I’m still counting. If they’d turned magenta or chartreuse they would still have been a treasure.
I like to have things go my way. I’d be the first to admit that I chose Religious Science partly because it would help me get what I wanted out of life and it certainly has. I have used it to achieve many big and small dreams but I’ve also learned some things as I’ve pretty much matured. I’ve pretty much learned to trust the process of life.
I pretty much build my days on gratitude in this time and place. I pretty much try to emulate Nature and keep my own smiling repose no matter what is going on in my day-to-day or finite existence. I pretty much understand that Nature’s plan will be greater than my own.
As I look at my Agapanthus bursting with new blooms, I trust they be will dancing brides in a week or so. I love them and am grateful for their grace, beauty and steadfastness. I’m grateful they are still here.
Come to think of it, I’m grateful I’m still here and I’m also grateful for many other things including family, friends, Nature and Emerson. What are you grateful for?
What have I learned after school is over?
What are ten things I’m grateful for?
What and/or whom do I trust?