Sunday, June 21, 2015

Squash Blossom 2015

Summer is officially here, and I haven't been able to put a garden in yet, but I received this gift growing from a pile of compost near the edge of the garden. Apparently, a squash seed was able to germinate in the middle of the compost. As long as I have been planting a garden, I have been enthralled by the beautiful flowers produced by the squash. My ancestors were also pretty fascinated by these squash blossoms and included representations of them in quill work and other designs. Each year, as the blossoms begin to bloom, I've attempted to document with a photo, to meditate and to reflect.

This year is no different, except for one change I have noticed trickling into my routines. I feel like it has been hard for me to slow down. I am not sure if the world is speeding up, or if I'm not giving myself "margins" to rest and reflect, but I am definitely taking notice of it, and being proactive to change.

This year, the lessons of the squash blossom are causing me to come back to some simple truths that I have learned, known, and forgotten. As I look at this simple yellow flower, it's almost like a megaphone booming loudly these truths that in our modern world of efficiency are easy to forget.

One of the foremost is this. There is beauty all around us if we slow down to look. We really just need to open our senses and take it in. Beauty is healing. Dostoyevsky once wrote, "Beauty will save the world." I agree. It puts us in touch with our humanity, with our relationship with the created world. Sometimes we need to stop and soak it in.

And this particular beauty, the beauty from this squash blossom, is coming from a compost heap. The Creator of the universe brings beauty out of waste and refuse. He takes ordinary dirt and seeds and crafts something that causes wonder to stir in our hearts.

We place a lot of emphasis on efficiency in this modern era. By efficiency, I mean doing the most activity in the least amount of time. I wonder if we are missing out on the beauty that can be created by 'wasting' time by sitting quietly, away from our gadgets, and away from the tyranny of urgent and often times unimportant activity.

As I write this, I find myself wanting to take more time to sit and observe, and I am grateful (and I hope you are as well) for the little treasures that are strewn about our path that nudge us toward a pause and a reflection.

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