We have this beautiful tree in our front yard. It’s always full of unexpected surprises. As winter begins to wain, right when we are tired of all things cold and gray, her tiny buds arrive…hinting. They appear white and tender at first. Every branch looking for it’s opportunity to bloom. Then as the birds get louder and the days a little warmer and all the signs of the spring season are upon us, she blossoms into a magenta pink. Brighter than you’d expect a tree to be. I gaze at her out my window every morning with my coffee and every afternoon with my tea. I think upon her beauty, her bright flowers touching a part of my soul I didn’t know needed to be awoken. I look at her shape. Unusual for a tree, this dogwoods branches reach in unique ways as it carries it’s color proudly. And for all of spring she boldly announces I am here and I am fantastic. In the summer she change she to green and I am always a little sad that she lost her color. I quickly forget that her luster just waits to give more.
In the fall, her leaves begin to turn. You wouldn’t expect it because well, this tree has done a mighty work already, a bright flower for all of Spring but here she is. Her green yields to orange in the cool of the morning, and I notice her again. Just like I notice the smell of autumn and the crispness in the air. Finally a cusp of red is revealed and she dazzles me again. It signals to us a change. A time of beauty before going dormant. A reminder that there is more mystery to be found, if you don’t stay stagnant. That I easily forget her beauty, but I can be expectant of what she has to offer. Our tree pushes on with the season, revealing what we are about to journey through before we are even aware of it. She signals to me things are changing. Her fall leaves don’t last as long as her bright pink blooms. I can already see her leaves curling at the tips, holding on before she falls. It’s as if the amount of energy to produce such a bold color is too much to bear, but because she is both strong and tender, she holds on. The combination so rare of fierce and gentle, it beckons me. It says stop and take a look. Do not pass by this magnificent part of nature and the story that I am telling you.
The story I am hearing from the ever prophetic dogwood is if we remain stagnant, change will still come. However, we won’t remain boldly within it. We won’t delight or humble any passer-byes. We will just be the same, enduring season after season in the same way we did before. Just like nature, there is always an opportunity to give all we have to the season upon us. What if we decide to be a beautiful color amidst all the gray? What if we champion a lit path with an unexpected flash of beauty! We can be strong, we can be sensitive, we can be bold, we can be artistic, we can be organized, we can be messy, we can be spontaneous, we can be quiet, we can be bright. Whatever is calling you forth is whispering you are more. Whatever feels like your authentic self, buried deep is waiting. For our souls are but products of the growth we allow it. And when we allow that growth, be it humbly dormant inside our roots or glowing on our tips for everyone to see, it’s important. Our soul passes from one stage to the next because we let it, and then we inspire hope to the winter around us. And hope, does not disappoint.
The world is showing us heart break and cruelty. Nature is showing us something different.
Let’s carry each other to the next season with the kind of mystery and grace that only an intricate thing of nature could represent. Let’s be fantastic in this season and surprise each other with a soul color that is all our own. We are all one. This world is ours. Our souls are our own heart-work, that beckon us to pay attention. Be beautifully you, and SEE the beauty in others. Let the scenery that you provide, be breathtaking. For many will wander passed. It takes humility, it takes courage, and sometimes it takes grit to hold on and not curl up and fall. From where I sit, the view is undeniably worth it.