Bottom Up

The breezes of spring are blowing in, bringing with it the green of the underbrush, the pushing up of tulips, and flowering magnolia, dogwood and Bradford pear trees.  It’s as if a watercolor brush has met wet paper, colors blossoming out of the gloom of winter.  On the breath of the wind is carried fragrances of the world awakening; fresh grass, earthy mildew amidst pure air.  The world begins to sing as songbirds call to one another, and people gather in parks, around outdoor café tables, excited and happy once again to greet the warmth and longer days.  Gone is the inner slumber and grey gloom; we all rejoice!

As I sit on my back patio breathing in the life coming alive in the park beside me, I notice nature’s system of allowing the greening to begin from bottom-up, the underbrush awakening first.  Almost as if Mother Earth knew that by developing from top-down, or an all out willy nilly growth, it would result in a ceiling of limitation for the smaller sprites below.  I smile at the deadened leaves from last fall holding fast to their oak branches, afraid to let go and allow the new life sprout.

I understand that steadfast grasping to the old.  Even though I know better, the old is comfortable.  Safe.  Even while it’s no longer needed and my knowledge accepts more healthy choices, it’s hard to let go.  A winter of tapes have helped me to grasp tightly to those deadened leaves.

Daily, I come up against issues that force me to make choices.   The voices from yesterday surface readily,  and maddeningly most easily, striking a lectured pose with the message of being “good” – good daughter, wife, Christian, friend.  Attend to other’s needs first while shading your own.  Don’t hurt feelings!  It’s such a constant voice – and rewarding!! Oh, this great ability I have had to manipulate others into realizing how much they needed my backbending attention!  I was loved!   Until that inner voice, that budding green from my underbrush cried out, “Stop stealing my light!  I’m dyin’ down here!”  As it comes into fuller growth, and the winds of spring caress my face, I’m reminded how pure and true this thriving new underbrush is.  With all the “good” actions of jumping through hula hoops, saving others from bad feelings, I lost me.  Who the hell WAS “me” if it weren’t for serving everyone else?

Yet acting on that whisper in the spring winds – it’s still hard.  It’s sad to hurt feelings, to act against the years of training to take care of yourself.  It feels selfish to think of yourself first, to make choices that are healthiest for you.

But of COURSE it does.  It goes against every message of my life before.  I may lose some of my dearest friends in this fight for my soul.  Not always rewarding!

……….. until you feel that underbrush growing fuller, the watercolor’s vibrancy spreading across your inner page.   Knowing it will soon push out the deadened winter leaves replacing them with flourishing green.  Reaching high into the heavens.

Tickling the clouds in laughter.

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One thought on “Bottom Up

  1. Beautiful, Laurie. I too have been so taken with the blush of green in the understory of the forest, in such a hurry to drink the sun before the big trees overhead overshadow it. I once heard someone wise say “If its right for you, its right for others, too”. Doing what is right for our souls may not please others right away but in the long run it will be the right thing for them for them as well. This wisdom has guided me more than once over the years when I’ve felt torn about who to take care of, me or some one else. Thanks for reminding me today.

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