Flipping back through this year, I can’t really say that outwardly I have made much advancement, but I have come to understand that outward things are always the last to change. Our external life is always a reflection of things that stem from spaces deep below the surface. First the seed buried under the soil must endure a long winter and begin to grow in ways undetectable to the above ground observer. It must first admit it feels the pull of the sun and wants to grow in that direction. It must have faith that this pull is not imagined, but is real and necessary. It must see itself as part of the mysterious magic, not a separate entity. It must find solace in the fact that no matter what it must endure, somehow deep within itself, it contains all of the knowledge and energy to get there. It must figure out how to circumvent any obstacles that stand in the path of its growth. The desire to live out its life soaking in the sunshine, in communion with the energy that feeds all of life, fulfilling its purpose based on the nature of what it feels in it’s heart and nothing more, must outweigh all else.
Having a clear picture of the garden can be a source of sadness and emptiness in life, if you never plant the seeds that would allow it to be anything other than imaginary. Once you hold this picture as a distant reality, instead of a delusion, your life changes entirely. The only thing you can do is get down in the dirt with your seeds so that you can understand what each one needs in order to grow. You guard them and tend to them, and the value of everything else you possess diminishes. As you place each seed carefully, and it disappears deep down into the blackness of the earth, you look at your empty hands and doubt your sanity because at that moment you are hit with the reality that you have nothing. Nothing tangible anyway. Nothing except faith… faith in something that you can only see inside your mind, often only in abstracts and broad disconnected strokes.
And because of human wiring, faith is a roller coaster ride of great peaks and depressions. At low points, you see patterns where there actually are none, you use your past failures to tell yourself that your empty hands are a sign. A sign of madness or whatever it is that you fear most about yourself. In the lows, you find you have the courage to carry on in this way- knowing that you maybe you imagined the whole thing, and your fate might actually be to die down in the very same dirt, your existence merely fertilizer for someone else’s garden.
But at the same time, you have growing respect for yourself, filling up parts of your self where you didn’t even realize there was a void. And you realize there are no limits to what you can feel. You are not a container of predetermined volume, but instead a soul with infinite capacity for new levels of existence. And at these high points you begin to realize that if, when, your garden does grow it will not feel like you have imagined, because you are imagining it from a place that has not yet experienced such explosions of color and light.
Always strive for that brilliant picture. Laugh when you catch a glimpse of yourself covered in the dirt of life. Embrace the chaos.