Early Summer 2014 -- Embracing our Dormant Times

Dear Friends

When I moved into my new home last October, I had my work cut out for me ripping up all the dead plants that greeted me. I only had a few bedraggled plants left when a neighbor came over to comment on all my hard work. Turns out these not-so-perfect plants weren't dead after all. Turns out these sad-looking perennials were the most beautiful peonies he’s ever seen (and he's been enjoying them for years). So large and bountiful are their blooms that the former owners installed heavy duty peony rings to hold them up (the rings I had just worked so hard to remove). Wait. Did he say “peonies”? Had I really just single-handedly wiped out my most favorite flower in the whole wide world? How had I not recognized them? How could I have been so hasty in my quest for tidy curb appeal?

Having just arrived from Southern California, where my plants pretty much flowered year-round, this in-your-face dormancy was new to me. In my mind withered plants were dead plants. End of story.

I now felt like a botanical serial killer. Then my mind began to swirl with the metaphorical significance of what had just taken place. I asked myself how many other things I had judged (and sometimes ripped up!) prematurely. My thoughts went from dormant peonies to surly teenagers and soured relationships. If only people carried "work in progress" or "construction zone" signs! What you see isn't always what's below the surface or what will be down the road, given enough sweet time and some prolonged sunshine. The in-between times of anything are rarely the prettiest, right? Think dress rehearsals, rough drafts, and uncooked casseroles. Between the seeds of promise and blossoms of beauty, a lot can go down — everything from blight to people like me destroying what she doesn't recognize.

This summer there will be a few less peonies in my neighborhood, but when the survivors appear in all their glory, I'll be reminded of the value of those in-between times. We humans can experience dormancy any time of the year, and it’s rarely pretty. My hope is that the next time I encounter it, either in a loved one or within myself, I’ll be gentle, patient, and wise, remembering that sometimes even the sorriest looking plants can be the most beautiful flowers in their own time.

Wishing you all a beautiful summer, inside and out.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- The Art of Imperfection

From our archives -- Saddle Up

From our archives -- Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

From our archives -- Taking Time to Listen

Late Spring 2014 -- Seeing More Clearly

Spring 2014 -- Savor What Makes Your Heart Sing

Early Spring 2014 -- The Power of Quotes

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

From our archives -- Break Away from the Herd

Holiday 2013 -- Taking the Time to Listen

Holiday 2013 -- Open our Hearts to the Good Around Us

Fall 2013 -- How to Cope in Tough Times

Late Summer 2013 - The Priceless Gift of Friendship

Midsummer 2013 -- My Luck is Pretty Good Luck

Early Summer 2013 -- Slow Down Enough to Smile

Late Spring 2013 -- Recognizing Gifts

Spring 2013 -- Doing the Best We Can

Early Spring 2013 -- Know Where You're Going

Holiday 2012 -- Our Power to Adapt

Fall 2012 -- Gratitude for What We Have

Early Fall 2012 -- See the Beauty in Front of Us

Late Summer 2012 -- Modify So It Works for You

Summer 2012 -- Finding Balance

Early Summer 2012 -- Go Ahead and Take that Risk!

Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut

Spring 2012 - Living Life to the Fullest

Early Spring 2012 - New Year, No Excuses

Winter 2011 - A Thoughtful Tip

Holiday 2011 - How Did I Get Here?

Fall 2011 - Giving Thanks for What We Already Have

Late Summer 2011 - Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Midsummer 2011 - Friends Through Thick and Thin

Early Summer 2011 - The Power of Nice

Late Spring 2011 - The Gifts of Spring

Spring 2011 - Worst Case Scenario

Early Spring 2011 - Break Away From the Herd

Winter 2010 - Lessons From Feral Kitty

Holiday 2010 - The Art of Imperfection

Fall 2010 - When the Student is Ready...

Late Summer 2010 - Saddle Up

Midsummer 2010 - Hurry Up and Wait

Early Summer 2010 - Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!

Late Spring 2010 - Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Taking That First Step

Early Spring 2010 - I Think it's Time

Winter 2009 - Choose Love, Not Fear

Holiday 2009 - Paying it Forward

Fall 2009 - You're Not Alone

Late Summer 2009 - "Searching" for Peace

Midsummer 2009

Early Summer 2009

Late Spring 2009

Spring 2009

Early Spring 2009

Winter 2008

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

Spring 2007

Early Spring 2007

Winter 2006

Holiday 2006

Fall 2006

Late Summer 2006

Midsummer 2006

Early Summer 2006

Late Spring 2006

Spring 2006

Early Spring 2006

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