Max and I went to the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot the other day. I love Epcot and I particularly love this event. There are huge topiaries of Disney characters. There are spectacular floral designs carpeting the grounds. There are creative and unusual playground gardens where children burn energy. There is a butterfly garden, filled with light, lazy aerial ballerinas dancing nonstop through the air. There are different sights and smells all over the park to entrance the senses. It is no coincidence that we think of Paradise as the Garden of Eden and Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival definitely evokes paradise.
Now that spring is here, the Flower and Garden Festival got me thinking about blooming. There was a lot of blooming going on in Epcot. I’m thinking of another kind of blooming, though.
I think we all go through spurts of spontaneous creative energy periodically in our lives. We all experience times when the momentum of our lives become sweet and fertile. We seem to experience one amazing epiphany after another, each feeding on the one before it. The pieces are clicking together almost automatically. It seems as though our lives are enrichening moment by moment. We may or may not experience success in all our endeavors and I don’t mean to suggest that it doesn’t take hard work to make something wonderful out of all this impetus. However, even in our failures during these times, we are usually happy and satisfied and confident. There is an excitement and lushness about living that is completely independent of traditional success. We are luxuriating in the moment, thankful for all the unique miracles in our lives.
What spurs these periods of renaissance in our lives? I’ve seen it happen when people fall into a healthy love relationship. It can also happen when people become parents. Sometimes it happens when people have careers that reflect their intellectual passions and work with colleagues who are likeminded. Maybe it boils down to love. When love is in the mix, whether it be love for a significant other or love for a child or love for an idea, people may feel safer pushing their boundaries and believing the dreams they normally wouldn’t even dare to dream.
However, it seems that loss can also be a catalyst for these periods of exploration and awakening. Since my mother’s death, I have been experiencing my own personal renaissance. I’ve changed so much. I am so much more engaged with people and with the world. I am much more confident and secure than I’ve been in my life. My spiritual life is more exquisite. I feel physically healthier than I can ever remember being. I feel like that health shines from the inside out and makes me a more attractive person. I’m still not traditionally pretty, but I just don’t care anymore. I no longer worry about being attractive enough or good enough or anything enough to be “worth” other people’s attention and approval. I am just me and I trust that is enough to attract the right people in my life. There is a sort of centeredness and peace in my spirit. I try things that I never would have in the past- publishing the book, singing in the choir, acting in a play, reigning as Alpha Hospitality Princess, creating art, and many other activities. I am blooming.
If I am honest, I think I have to say that some of this blossoming is the result of the crushingly sad journey I took with my mother during her illness and death. During that time, I found out that I am much more complex and multi-faceted than the “me” I always thought I knew. I also had to learn, through the grieving process, how to let go of parts of my life that were no longer blooming.
Now, you all know how much I loved my mother. I still miss her sharply and deeply every single day. I would give up every blossom I have gathered in the past year and a half if it could bring her back- healthy, happy, and living life with me. Since I can’t bring her back, I know she is happy that I am using the life and love she gave me to create something wonderful in my spirit.
As painful as it is, maybe sometimes you have to prune to bloom. Especially if the pruning is accompanied by love.
Have you experienced a period of personal renaissance? Tell us about it! Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a blooming day!