I was delighted with myself,
having offered everything I had;
my heart, my faith, my work.
“And who are you,” you said,
“to think you have so much to offer?
It seems you have forgotten
where you’ve come from.”Rumi
Roots were sticking upward and dirt was strewn all over. Given the overall condition of our planet and the increasing frequency of natural disasters, this upheaval was relatively minor. A geranium plant was dangling over the edge of its pot. Apparently a squirrel or bird had dug into the freshly added soil and uprooted the plant in the process.
I up-righted the geranium and gave it a little pat. Notwithstanding my minimalist gardening attention, I have fondness for this geranium plant. It is a model of resilience, because it has survived the appetite of the local deer that will eat even “deer-resistant” plants.
A few days later, a new blossom popped out from the geranium. Upon seeing the cheery red color, I felt a sense of pride. Then, I noticed the scraggly green stock, and remembered that this plant was not only a model of hardiness, but also had its own life capacity. Perhaps it actually had needed to be repotted, i.e., it needed more room for its roots and not just new surface soil that I had added.
The wildlife’s digging might have given the plant what it required: a chance to be re-rooted. The dangling geranium could have easily dropped to the ground and found new life there. My role likely was accidental.
Such a small and ordinary life event was what I needed to reconnect with a sense of humility. Ironically, two common flower meanings for geraniums are folly and foolishness, both of which I find easy to fall into. Our human minds seem to gravitate toward considering ourselves as the center of our life events and interactions, whether with other humans or the rest of nature.
Prophets and sage poets such as Rumi remind us to recall the source of all life – we are one of many species sustained by the invisible and ever-present grace of love. For today, the geranium is my reminder to slow down and accept the lessons of each moment. I hope you will join me.
This short practice supports our capacity to let go.
- Stand with a hip-width stance.
- Shake out your right arm for approximately 30 seconds. Then, your left arm.
- Bend your knees and bounce gently up and down. Your feet can be flat on the floor.
to a seated position either in a chair or on the floor.
- If in a chair, place the soles of your feet on the floor.
the backs of your hands on your thighs.
- Five times, curl your fingers and thumbs toward the palms.
- Then, allow your hands to remain open.
- Relax across your eyes and around your jaw.
- Allow your shoulders and palms to soften.
your breath to be smooth and easy.
- Close your eyes or ease them into a soft gaze.
all the tension and holding on is releasing from your body and mind.
- Invite awareness that all is recycled. As you let go, the universe absorbs and uses all. Like leaves dropping from the tree in the fall, the release offers nourishments and makes room for the new.
Transition back into your day –
- When you are ready, return to your day.
This poem is translated by Coleman Barks. It appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 31, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library. Photo by Michael Beener. HEARTH is posted each new and full moon. KateVogt©2019.