I took my kids to see the movie the Lorax in 3D at a local theater a couple weeks ago. Sheepishly, I wiped my eyes near the end of the movie during the scene where the last truffela seed was planted and the townspeople sang and praised. I am trying to be patient with myself that I am so easily emotional. I am trying to remember the sisterhood motto that vulnerability is the new strength when it feels like such conventional weakness to be so easily moved to tears. It was such an uplifting message though. DO SOMETHING the Lorax said.
After the short drive home I checked on my own fledgling veggie garden, feeling fairly self- satisfied I was indeed doing something. Not having been raised in a rural setting and never having much of a green thumb, I’m easily excited by the successes of the small plants pushing up out of the ground. I swear the green beans pushing up out of the soil was nothing short of watching a birth in slow motion.
I find the whole idea of this cycle of life in plain view to be so romantic. You take the time to nurture the earth and she nurtures you right back with fresh air and good food to eat. We even have a few backyard chickens from which we get eggs every morning, but that is a topic for a whole other blog altogether.
In these first few weeks after planting, the garden is just so alive with potatoes, onions, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, eggplant and squash. All of these little plants are like my babies and I talk to them every morning telling them how proud I am of their grand accomplishments. I know how crazy that sounds. I can’t help it. I told you I was excited with this whole gardening adventure. It’s A LOT of work tending to them but it is a project I feel good about. It’s good work, its honest and cleansing.
Anyway, the week after I took the kids to see the Lorax, I left my garden to go to New York City for a few days last week as a chaperone for my step son’s chorus group. In 5 days we walked 40 miles and bustled through the city taking in all the sights and sounds of a major metropolis. We saw 4 Broadway shows and traipsed through central park, rode up the elevator to the top of the empire state building and sang outside the Statue of Liberty. I ate authentic New York pizza and had vegetable fried rice in Chinatown. All in all, it was an exhausting but exhilarating adventure at the same time.
Here is the thing though. Putting aside the man- made beauty of Central Park, there was nothing just naturally green anywhere. It felt like I was walking around in a scene straight out of the Lorax movie. It was like they literally paved paradise. Bright lights, steel and concrete dominated the landscape as far as the eyes could see. The skyscrapers were an awesome sight, but I missed the grass, I missed the trees. I missed my garden. The contrast between where I spent those 5 days and the place I took for granted as being my home back in Florida was as different as night and day, as stark as black and white.
I don’t know when I became such the naturalist, but I have come to appreciate the simple beauty in nature. I love the evident balance and especially all the beautiful energy in the new growth of spring. Despite my many missteps as I move through this lifetime, one of the things I have become the most grateful for is the insight to appreciate the beauty around me, and try to remember to not take it for granted too regularly. The opportunity for spiritual awakening through quiet observation in nature is well documented.
If you can take the opportunity today to please not rush into your car or race to the bus or subway, but leave yourself a little extra time to pay attention to the beauty around you. Look for butterflies and the new blooms on flowers. Grow a small garden. Do what you can to let Mother Nature know you haven’t forgotten her. Listen to the birds. Look for a story in cloud formations. All of this is available to us every single day and it doesn’t cost a thing. We just get so busy we forget to notice. We get out of the habit of paying attention.
Well, I know this may sound silly, and I am not going to pretend to be the Lorax, but just for today, I will speak for the trees.
They speak for themselves, but we’ve long ago forgotten to listen.
Just for today, let today be different.
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I am a 42 year old mother of 3, living in Florida with my partner and youngest child. Like the mythological phoenix, I have been reborn out of the ashes of my former way of life and have, for the last several years, set out on an exploration of self expression through visual art and creative writing. I am immensely grateful to feel a part of every living thing in existence and the emergence of a growing evolution of consciousness within and throughout. I am interested in all aspects of energy healing and spiritual transformation and have just recently become a student of Reiki. I understand there is always a choice and I try to choose love over fear at every turn. I am grateful for all of the other women in this group and for their ever present support and guidance. Jennifer Bothast