grow your own way

This could be pigment indigo, according to this.  At any rate, I like this picture.  It was taken a few weeks ago during a Joy Rebel mission that I really enjoyed.  (My debriefing on that mission turned out to be one of my most popular blog posts ever.  Maybe I peaked early?  Hmm….)

Anyway, it’s a wild mix on the porch now.  In this photo you can see the Louisiana purple-podded pole bean, a heart-shaped leaf of morning glory, and the tropical foliage of cardinal climber vine.  They all grew together, tangled up and inseparable, and they even took over the two potted tomatoes on the corner of the porch.

I look at this crazy mass, which now blooms wildly in three diverse colors and flower forms every morning, and I feel a great tenderness well up in my heart.  Life itself is crazy, lush, and so deliciously unpredictable.

Whenever I decide I need to tease out one strand, change one area of my life, I quickly discover its connections to so many others.  Other beliefs, other habits, other memories, other emotions, other people.  I learn all over again that the soul is forever undomesticated and following its own mysterious trajectory.  Sure, I can encourage it to grow, just like I encourage the vines.  Give them some sturdy support, a little humus, a little water when the skies are uncooperative, a whisper of praise, a kiss.  (Yes, I have kissed the morning glories several times this summer.  Because they are the word “ephemeral” made flower.  Because they are velvety soft to the touch.  Because I wanted to wear sparkly white pollen on my lips.  And just for pure joy.)

But tell it where to go?  Order the soul to diverge from its seemingly hardwired and yet inscrutable path?  I might as well order the hummingbird to drink from a particular flower or the bean pod to produce a certain quota of seeds in a proscribed number of days.  I’m thinking we’ve gotten the wrong impression with our self-improvement books and formulas.  What if all you needed for self-improvement was a lot of curiosity, a little bit of patience, some dirt, and a handful of seeds?

Even that may be too much like a formula for my taste.  Not everyone is called out to the garden.  (I know, I know, if you are garden-obsessed, this last part seems impossible to believe.)

So let’s revise.  What if all each of us needs is to just be, and the path that is unique to each of us will unfold before our feet?  It sounds really easy, especially when you’ve grown up in a society that thinks everything should be hard work.  Yet the different tendrils all seem to find their way, no matter what — and no matter what I’d envisioned to be their boundaries, the limits of their potential.  Maybe we are all different tendrils on a huge vine, growing into a fragrant, flowering, tangled mass together, growing our own way, according to our natures, without any struggle or strain.

All right.  Enough with the analogies.  Have a wonderful Friday, and namasté, y’all!

(This photo is third in line, after green and blue, in my series based on unofficially following Capturing Beauty‘s photographic blog challenge.)

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