AND Again

October 9th, 2016

Nature is such an amazing teacher…constant, present, and waiting for the ready student. What struck me, while driving on the back winding roads filled with trees is the importance of showing up in full splendor, whatever that means for each of us, to greet each day.

In an autumn when the lack of rain has hampered many trees from turning into their full, bold, and vivid colors, a few trees have managed to stand out in a landscape of muted rusts or crumpled brown leafed trees. After noticing the bold ones, I found that they actually create the space for appreciation of the muted ones as well. Perhaps it is also the muted rusts and golds that remind each of us to do the best with what we can and know that that is enough. The invitation is to show up fully and give whatever is ours to give, with no attachment to what anyone else thinks or does.

When the few really bright trees shine in the sunlight, they seem to lift the other trees and cause me to pause, get present, and notice the muted ones more. Much the same thing happens in families and in our workplaces. When we spend our time trying to blend or fit in, we get lost. When we shrink so that others won’t be uncomfortable around us, we all lose.

When we are willing to stand in our light, we often create the environment for each of the more quiet members present to be seen, recognized for their beauty. A quote by a theologian, perhaps Robert Wesley (although I’m not positive), that reminds us to stand in our own gifts and stop second-guessing or shrinking from what is ours to give, is

“Ring the bell that you can ring. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Nature teaches us that showing up is not a one time activity that gets crossed off a list and forgotten. It is a state of being, day in and day out. The trees change colors every fall. The colors are never exactly the same, as the environment changes. Whether we pause to see the beauty offered determines whether we benefit from the gift. Our expected response does not affect the trees’ showing up in their best colors. They just do what they do.

Likewise, our world, neighborhood, home, and work environments may not recognize our gifts. Showing up is not a one-time occurrence. We are reminded that we need to show up as our best self each day. AND at the end of the day smile that we have been present and gave our best. AND that is enough. AND tomorrow…show up again. AND again.

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