Summer Short 7
No Blooms without the Roots

If you are paying attention, at a certain age you might realize that life unspools in cycles. Some lovely, some painful but unlike the seasons, in no particular order. Things move forward, expand and grow. Gorgeous, amazing things come into your life. You get lifted up and encouraged and feel full and so thankful and ask, what more can I give? If you are lucky, and have as little expectation as possible, you might get a few of these seasons in a row. But just as you are starting to feel entitled, that you’ve got things lined up nicely, and you’ve finally got your act together, the winds of change blow in. You get hit with a huge disappointment or loss and your once open and grateful heart clenches and you feel the urge to pull the drawstring around it just a bit tighter to protect it from the biting wind. Wind can make you feel so helpless. Not to mention exhausted from exposure.

There are times, maybe two or three a year, that I feel life is asking more of me than I believe I am capable of giving. My usual response? Lie on the floor in despair. Sometimes happiness requires too much energy. Also, I feel strongly that someone or something out there should know that I’m not going to stand for this shit. Literally.

Melodramatic? Neurotic? I prefer adorable and tragic.

It is usually the challenges and loneliness of parenting two teenaged children by myself that pins me to the ground with centrifugal force. As I lie there, slumped in heap with a sadness so heavy it lands on my chest like a dental X-ray apron making it hard to breathe, I do my best to keep in mind that as an upper middle class, college educated, white woman living in one of the most prosperous, free, dynamic countries in the modern world with access to quality healthcare, unlimited education attainment, employment choices and Uber that I am practically the living, breathing embodiment of a veritable paradise of privilege and that it should be a criminal offense to complain or harbour any sort of dissatisfaction.


Human lives are hard, even those of health and privilege.

One of the most difficult things for us to believe is that beneath all of our disappointments and struggles, we live and breathe in abundance. It is hard when in pain to believe that all we ever need is right in front of us, all around us, and most of all, within us. And yet it is true. Like the daffodil bulbs patiently waiting for Spring to push through the earth and bloom, our task is to only be rooted and wait.

Patience is a humbling challenge for most of us. When things don’t go our way, we want it fixed and we want it fixed NOW! Unfortunately, life doesn’t always comply. Life insists on patience more often than we allow space for it but when we do, we are rewarded with what waits beneath all we want. For the bloom waiting below the surface. For the gift of seeing that no matter what brings us to the ground, all that we could hope for is here. We lack nothing.

It has taken me a long time to understand this but now when I am sitting in traffic, though I get impatient, I try to relax as it is and look up at the sky and get some juicy daydreaming in or watch the sunset in my rearview mirror. When I get sunburned, although I beseech myself for being careless, I try to recall the feel of the warm sun on my skin, the smell of the ocean air and keep in mind that to truly live, we get burned sometimes. When I hurt, I try to honor all my feelings, despite the fear that certain feelings will take over my life. That I will remain on the floor forever.

Because what I have discovered again and again, is that no one feeling can last by itself. That feeling any feeling deeply enough, all the way through, opens me to the abundant common source of all feelings. And it is at this root of all feelings that allows me to fully experience the bloom of what it means to be fully alive. And what are we here to do if not experience being fully alive?

Time and time again we are asked to outlast what we want and wished for in order to see what is there. And like the daffodil, if we are patient and rooted, in the face of everything, we slowly come through.