On my counter I have a cactus. It sits right in front of where I sit each morning for breakfast, six inches lower than plate level. This particular plant hasn't always held such a regal place in my kitchen. A couple days ago I uprooted it from a spot a bit tucked away, one I don't often have cause to pause at. Frequently I would forget to water it even the meager amount it requires. So here it sits, relocated and eager to be noticed.
There are actually two varieties of cactus in this pot. One that flowers at Christmas and one around Easter. The latter plant is covered in a ripple of buds that slowly open over the course of the day, revealing itself in fullness around noon. After a few hours of shameless display, it draws inward returning to bud and self.
This opening and closing is rhythmic. Cyclical.
A pattern I can expect to repeat each day until the flowers fall to the ground.
A couple days ago I posted this:
In the same way flowers are created to bloom only then revealing the full breadth of their beauty, we too are created to reveal our beauty to the world. The more I lean into the things that bring me life and joy and peace; the more I sink into being created fully enough; the more I open all of me to the world, trusting in it's goodness, the more I'm finding the world to be filled with a tangible pulse, a beat, a Spirit. There is fear. There is pain. Much of which I can't explain. But as I come back to beauty and peace, this is what the world consistently offers back to me.
As I continued to meditate, I began to see the pattern of the plant. What I find intriguing as I watch this plant each day, is how it so closely mirrors the natural patterns within my own being - this idea of outward and inward. In order for its flowers to continue to open, for it to continue to give its beauty to the world, this plant must draw in, close, seek rest and stillness. Carving out space for this rest, this inward movement towards the soul, has been the only way for me to seek with clarity the things that fill me up, bring me life and joy and peace. There is rest, there is stillness, there is silence and from this well we draw movement and creativity and life.
Sometimes it takes moving things around, clearing the dust, bringing things out of corners and into light for us to see.
I almost missed it.
I almost missed the insights this plant had to offer, offers still. I nearly rushed passed it's rhythmic movements and holy pulses.
But I didn't. The discipline of cleaning, of clearing the literal dust, caused me to notice and change. And that's what this inward journey takes. It takes discipline, courage, and faith. It requires saying no to many things and yes to a few. It demands I put away the to-do list, silence the phone, turn off the computer and be present.
It asks me to stare at a plant. To do nothing but watch.
May you shuffle and move and poke around the things that need it. May you draw inward in the same way you give outward. May you seek the pulse that binds everything together as one and immerse yourself in this work of creativity and peace - for you. For all.