This week’s mindfulness concept was inspired by the irises blooming in my yard. When I first moved into my Denver home, a friend offered me iris tubers. I was happy to have them and assumed she was simply thinning hers, which needs to be done periodically. But no… she told me she was digging them all out because she hated irises. Wow – that was a strong statement.
Iris flowers are showy, long lasting, drought tolerant, and gorgeous. What is not to love? She told me she couldn’t stand the mess after the flowers were done blooming. It’s true, I guess, that after the flowers fade we are left with browning stalks that could be described as messy. But you can say the same thing for many other plants. There is a cycle of blooming, flowering, and decaying. I’m not sure there is anyway around it unless you want to stick plastic flowers in the ground. So we have to come to some kind of acceptance that the decaying stalks are part of the bargain with flowering plants. We can of course try to tidy things up when possible, like trimming the unwanted stalks and leaves. But to some extent the natural world constantly devolves into messiness. And that is true for life in general.
Gardens, jobs, people, and situations bloom in our lives and then peak and fade. Everything changes. At any point it can become messy. People don’t stay in one place (including me.) To have the people you care about scattered all over the planet is messy and challenging, and it is simply the way of the world. If we are expecting orderly and tidy at all times, we’ve not been paying attention.
I don’t mind messy gardens at all, but I do mind the messiness of life. Sometimes we can tidy things up, as when we trim the browning iris stalks. But sometimes we have to accept messy situations as they are. So this week I am going to be mindful of this concept. And even if I can’t embrace messiness, I’m going to work on making peace with it.
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