I cannot lose anything in this
place of abundance
I found.

If something my heart cherishes
is taken away,
I just say, “Lord, what
happened?”
And a hundred more
appear.  

St. Catherine of Siena
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

A few weeks ago, oranges began to mysteriously appear outside our home.  Every morning there would be a couple nestled along the curb, with no obvious clues how they got there.  Their color was bright and shape was still perfectly round.  Yet, they were a bit soft to touch.

Since there is a lot of vegetation around where we live, I assumed there was an orange tree nearby and simply started doing what I do with fallen leaves – pick them up and put them in the compost bins.   But, in the same way that I do with the leaves, I found myself considering the lifecycle and qualities of these oranges and the similarities to my humanness.  

I am particularly drawn to their roundness.   They’ve made me much more aware of the spherical foundation of life.  Not only is our planet earth an orb within space but most of nature, including our own bodies, are formed by arcs, curves, columns, and spheres.   Delight is often stimulated by the sun and the moon, as well as the glow from candles, stars, and our eyes.   That joyfulness offers a sense of rich fullness and satiation.  

Personally, I feel that humanity could use more connection with our innate roundness.  The obvious arena is getting back to holding one another, taking our arms around each other for hugs, and being in circles of our friends.  But, equally pressing is turning around and holding all those that support us – from unseen essential workers, the trees and other entities that form the fundamental underpinnings of our lives.  Roundness is wholeness holding all equally, with love and infinite generosity.  

Geometrically, all forms begin with a dot.  We need to bring back old-fashioned analog clocks with a dot at the center to remind us of the interconnectedness of all living things, but also the necessity of a core.  The beauty of flowers radiates from a central point, and the delicious sweetness of fruit from their inner core.   Of course, there is the fiery heart of the earth upon which we live, and the all-important dot at the end of each sentence reminding us that after the bustle there is stillness.  Sadly, in our being enamored with our digital inventions, we becoming untethered from our core.  

Perhaps, like the orange, our roundness is both our nature and our fate.  Every aspect of our life – thoughts, ideas, actions, behaviors, words – has a rounded ripple effect outward, far beyond the boundaries of our body and community.    Recognizing, reclaiming and respecting the inherent roundness of life is a key to reshaping systems and values for collective well-being.  Yet, maybe it is a key to our folly.   The oranges were from a tree far up the hill from where we live.  Once they fell, they rolled with such momentum that they passed several homes, rounded a corner, and continued to travel along our relatively flat street, only to meet their demise in the compost bin.  

For now, I appreciate the oranges and how they have continued to show up each morning.  I know that there are many more lessons to be learned from this now-common fruit.  Over the ages and around the world, oranges have symbolized good luck, prosperity, love, endurance, abundance, beauty, happiness, longevity, and divine energy.  I hope you will join me in endeavoring to embrace these more unifying messages from the orange. 

Practice
This short practice invites awareness of wholeness.

Prepare – 

  • Find a comfortable seated position. 
    • If seated on a chair or bench, place the soles of both feet on the floor. 
  • Lightly rest your palms downward on your thighs.
  • Notice the surface beneath you – for example, your chair, bench, or cushion – and the support that it offers.  Then, gently shift your awareness to the floor, if you are inside, and its support.   Lastly, shift your awareness to the earth – the soil, the microbes, the layers of rock, and even the very firey core of the earth.
    • Invite a sense of being supported by this planet, which supports and has supported all earthly life over a large span of time.
    • Allow your breath to be easeful and comfortable without forcing.
      • After several breaths, continue to the next steps.

Practice – 

  • Seated or standing.
  • Support your awareness of water:
    • Sway or rock gently from side to side, acknowledging the gift of fluidity with in the rivers and streams as well as within our bodily fluids and tissues. 
  • Support your awareness of light:
    • Stretch your hands toward sky in a v-position.
      • As you reach your hands upward, become aware of the sun and the light and heat it offers life.
      • Touch your fingertips to your eyelids with awareness of how light supports your sight. 
        • Thank your eyes for all that they do for you and the gift of seeing shapes and forms.
  • Support your awareness of air:
    • Lightly touch the top of your head, your face, arms, legs, and torso.
      • As you touch different parts of your body, become aware of the gift of touch and all the ways it supports your life.
    • Gently touch your nose.
      • As you touch your nose, become aware of the gift of your breath as a constant companion in your life.  
  • Support your awareness of space:
    • Lightly lightly cup your hands over your ears, appreciating the gift of hearing and sounds. 
    • If standing, slowly walk for a few steps with appreciation for the gift of space supporting your ability to move and navigate from place to place in the world.
  • Support your awareness of the core:
    • Place your hands over your heart – one on top of the other – acknowledging your innermost heart always holding all equally with love. 

Transition back into your day – 

  • Sit quietly for a few moments.  
  • When you are ready, return to your day.    


This  verse appears in Mala of the Heart: 108 Sacred Poems, page 87, edited by Ravi Nathwani and Kate Vogt and published by New World Library.  Photo by Lulucmy.  H E A R T H is posted each new and full moon.  KateVogt©2021. 


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