Being Willow

The purple iris, peonies, and roses are blooming in the backyard. I’m proud of them – far prouder than I am of myself who seems to have gone into hibernation after daily reflections during Lent and Easter. As if my fingers fell asleep. Or my head. That, actually, seems to be the crux of the matter – a mind that gets through the day and follows the path necessary and even gets papers read and graded, but no exploding creativity.

Someone wiser than I am said something to the effect that it’s just as important to be as to do. I have been being. 

I’ve picked spinach and put it into the refrigerator – spinach does not like 90 degree days and has decided to bolt. Bolt. An interesting word. The asparagus is also bolting if I don’t remember to go out each day and cut it. Bolt – as in to gallop away fast. A colt bolts; so do plants when it’s hot. The rest of us wilt. The peas are wilting. I’m not sure they are going to produce anything this year – too cold and wet earlier to flower, too hot now. The iris and peonies like the heat however – the purple iris the ones I remember from my childhood, smelling of grape pop. Kansas iris rather than hybrids. Kansas peonies.

I’ve been wondering where the “spiritual” in this reflection lies since I’m sounding more like a farmer than a preacher. You may be wondering too.

I suppose it’s too facile to say the earth nourishes all of us if we pay attention. Each day I look out the window here in my little office and measure the day by the willow that’s grown from a 12 foot adolescent into a lady beginning to droop her arms in a most elegant fashion. Today it’s quiet – barely a breeze ruffling the top leaves.

I also suppose it’s possible that Spirit, in whatever form it takes, ruffles our top leaves one day and gusts us over another. Sometimes the change is hourly rather than daily. We humans are being tossed from one extreme to another. But right now, today, I’m sitting quietly watching willow leaves and remembering to be as flexible in my dealings today as this young willow is to the gusts of wind.

I will DO later today – a full day of teaching ahead of me – but now, remembering to BE helps. Maybe that’s enough for all of us – slowing down enough to be rather than do. The doing is never-ending; being ends.

So today I will enjoy the being and avoid feeling guilty for what does or does not get done. The doing will wait for me another day, I’m sure. For this little while, for you, too, we can simply be flexible and bend with the winds.

4 thoughts on “Being Willow

  1. Nice reflection on Human BE-ing, instead of Human DO-ing. That was always one of my favorite challenges when teaching time management to business execs.
    Ironic that this Monday, at a coffee chat with aspiring writer/counselor/trainer, I heard myself say to her, “Writing is not something I do; it’s what I be.”

    Thanks for the confirmation!

  2. i was surprised that you questioned the spirituality of your description of iris and peony flowers and vegetable heat differential. nothing is more spiritual than being aware of and assessing your world. it’s what we ACTUALLY get to have. plant seeds look at big trees. write. it’s all there

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