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Beginning Again, Again

macro shot of a dandelion seeding

already turning
to seed
the dandelions
in my notebook
after this long silence

I took a break from here which turned into a little longer than expected.

And then, as happens when you take a break from blogging (and which is why in truth it’s better just to keep on going and shift position as you go) it became harder to come back again.

Somehow you wish for some grand insight, some truth you’d hauled to the surface during your time away, while in reality I just have most of the same old questions, and a reminder of the same old truth that the art of practice is simply being willing enough, and humble enough, to begin again, again.

without the words
to begin again
I watch an orange-tip
carve a passage
through the sun

6 Hipstamatic Macros

A Sense of Belonging

I read something the other day that started me thinking about gratitude, and belonging.

How we feel a sense of gratitude when we feel that we belong – and perhaps that we feel a greater sense of belonging when we cultivate gratitude.

A sense of belonging is, for me, inextricably tied to the earth: feeling close to and familiar with the rivers and the trees, with the patterns of fields and the curves of the land.

I think perhaps this is why birdsong can be so powerful – it’s not just that it’s beautiful but also that it reminds us: of other places and times, other songs we’ve heard, it reminds us that we’re here, and hearing, and present, a part of the moment, the listeners of the song.

And I think this is why I love the flowers so. Even if you’re feeling out of sorts and disconnected, even if you can’t see the big picture or make sense of the patterns of life, or the lack of them, there they are, fully present, fully familiar.

All you need to do is bend down and notice, say hello, pay attention.

low down snowdrop shot taken with the Hipstamatic

I’m not sure if these are big thoughts or small ones, only that again and again I come back to this moment, this invitation, to bend down and notice.

To feel not just wonder but familiarity, and belonging, and remembrance that you’re at home.

~~~~

With thanks to Kim Manley Ort for prompting me to think about the power of gratitude.

6 From a Walk in the Pentlands

Welcoming the Snowdrops

clump of snowdrops dancing in sunlight

When does a year begin?

For me it is this day, when the sun is finally shining and you walk out in hope because surely they must be here by now,

snowdrops close to the ground in half sun

and even though it’s not much of a surprise,

even though it’s become something of a ritual for you, this watching for them, waiting,

still –

snowdrops starting to emerge in sunlight

I’m not sure there is anything more lovely, more hope-giving, than the sight of these wee flowers poking up their heads through the mud, and rough ground, and glinting in the sun.

closer up of snowdrops in sunshine