Trail Mix :: No. 07
A Little Known Way To Make The World A More Beautiful Place Right Now, A Timely Read, My Favorite Author, & Where To Buy Dahlias
A Little Known Way To Make The World A More Beautiful Place Right Now.
After an emotional conversation with my husband at our kitchen table about the crisis in Ukraine, I walked upstairs to my office and ordered a dozen dahlia bulbs from a local flower farmer. I didn’t realize the significance of my impulsive action until a few days later when I reflected, almost shamefully, on the moment.
At first, I accused myself of being in denial of my grief or ignoring the serious state of the world, there I was trying to escape trouble and uncertainty again through shopping and spending money. But now, now I realize I was following my heart, the soft spirit within me who wishes only compassion and goodness towards all creation.
Hitting “purchase” after loading my online cart with a rainbow of soft pink, sunset orange, and cheery red blooms was actually my way of standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and those crying out for peace.
Then, I remembered the promise I made to myself a few years ago, and the simple wisdom I hope to pass on to my children as they get older. It goes like this: Wherever you go, grow flowers.
Flowers keep us expectant, marveling at the miracle looming, taking form just below the surface in the dark, damp soil. Flowers also remind us to bloom with ferocity and turn our face towards the brightness of the sun no matter where we find ourselves in life. Indeed this being human is a practice in holding paradox.
Buying bulbs a few days after war breaks out, of course, how could we not?
Planting flowers is an appropriate and instinctual response to tragedy, as we dig our hands into the cold soil we participate in the act of peace-building, as we tuck away hideous-looking bulbs into the depths of the earth we are ensuring beauty will continue to blossom for generations to come.
I am absolutely convinced that life’s most confounding paradoxes are the invitation we need to become a gardener, someone who never stops learning how to cultivate radiance and joy from the dirt beneath their feet.
A Podcast, A Few Books, and An Article.
-I listened to Sue Monk Kidd on The Good Life Project this morning and once again realized how influential she has been in my spiritual evolution as a woman and a writer. I adore her voice, and always revel in the wealth of wisdom she shares so effortlessly and eloquently. You’ll understand what I mean when you listen to her.
I loved this particular line from her in the episode:
The shortest distance between anything is a story that jolts the heart.
-Speaking of Sue Monk Kidd, she will definitely be included in my Forbidden Book series (another installment is coming in a few days!). A few of my favorites, of which she mentions in the above podcast, are The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, When The Heart Waits, and The Book of Longings. But really, you can’t go wrong with any of her work!
-And then you absolutely must take 3 minutes to read this timely and brilliant piece by Oliver Burkeman, where he shares how to become “news resilient”.
“In short: I think it really is OK to shift your centre of psychological gravity back from the news cycle to the world around you. The question is…how?”
Burkeman goes on to present what he calls a “third option” for how we can tame the role of news in our lives and he concludes with this: “If you wait, instead, for all the existential threats to pass, all the desperate human suffering to subside, you’ll be waiting forever.”
And Most Importantly,
Thank you for joining me Behind-The-Scenes today and if you’re hunting for a way to make the world more beautiful remember to look down at the dirt and then order some dahlias!
-Here’s a concise list of dahlia sources, both US and International, from the amazing Floret Flower.
Perhaps, you found some support, some insight, some inspiration from my words today, please share this weekly-ish letter with a friend if you’d like! You can do so here:
From my heart to yours,