Being Open

I love dogwood trees. The first time I saw one, I thought the tree had butterflies on it. I grew up on the west coast, and where I lived, I had never seen a dogwood tree before. Now they are one of my favorite trees. The blossoms on a dogwood are open and, to me, represent being open.

For me, being open means, trying to accept what happens in my life. It means to try to be less judgmental about others. Being open also means I don’t get to control everything. Stuff will happen over which I have no control. Accepting what happens in my life does not mean I am resigned about what happens. It means I get to choose how I will respond to what happens in my life.

To be open, I try to be kind and loving towards everyone, including myself. When I am not loving towards myself, I have a hard time giving that love away. The kind of loving I mean here is I try to be compassionate. This is not always easy. If I anger someone else by telling him/her/them how I truly feel in the kindest way I can, I have to remind myself not to take their reaction personally. They will respond how they respond.

If I am fearful of others, I can’t be open. Fear is a closed door or wall that keeps others out. I do not like to live in fear. It is a good signal to myself that I might need to ask for help from an understanding friend or work on something in myself.

I must also remember everyone has an opinion and that often, that opinion will differ from my own. If I am willing to listen to others and be open, I don’t have to agree to respect that other person. Last week I saw a story about the famous singer, Joan Baez, who is very open to listening to others. Please read this story.

To read this story you may need to cut and paste the above URL. At least, that was the only way I could get it to work.

“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”
– Bob Marley


Flowers, Nature’s Beauty Queens

dogwood tree's flowers

dogwood tree’s flowers

I love this flowering tree. I remember the first time I saw dogwoods in the spring, I lived in the eastern USA. I was thrilled.  The flowers on a dogwood are like special butterflies on trees. The white dogwoods are lovely, but too me, the coral dogwood is heavenly. Once dogwoods lose their flowers, they become very ordinary small shade trees. I am thankful for dogwoods and particularly for the flowers. When I moved to the west coast, I was a  little sad because I thought there would be no dogwoods here. The first spring here, I was proven wrong, and I was joyful.

dogwood flowers

Dogwood flowers close up

snowball bush

snowball bush flowers

I like these flowers because they are fun. If you ever had a snowball fight, sometimes a hard snowball was almost like a rock. This flower would make a gentle snowball fight. For peace loving people, it is a kinder, warmer, more beautiful version of a snowball.

Here is an interesting TED talk about flowers from  Jonathan Drori.   It includes gorgeous photos of flowers and explains about how flowers deceive and attract pollinators.

"angel plants"

“angel plants”

I call these “angel plants” (which I know is not the correct name) because the entire bush when it is full of these flowers, to me, it looks like angels’ wings.

Columbine flowers

Columbine flowers

Flowers are so important to our lives. They tend to make me feel happy, are great as gifts, some smell great.  Although many people have allergies (at times, even me), somehow seeing flowers makes the suffering worth it to see amazing natural beauty. And flower’s nectar feeds birds and insects including our friends, bees, which we humans in turn get honey from.

flowering plants

Rose garden with flowering trees and plants

This is a small portion of a local rose garden, even before most of the roses have bloomed.  The combination of colors delighted my eyes. As usual, my simple digital camera did not do it justice.

“The earth laughs in flowers.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Daphne bush

Daphne bush

This is a new flowering plant to me. I have already sung its praises in my blog from mid February. It blooms early (this year earlier than normal). I have never smelled a more fragrant flower. It even outshines most roses, even those not grown in hot-houses. Thank you Daphne and all flowers for all that you do to adorn our world.

“The Amen of nature is always a flower.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

What is (are) your favorite flower(s)?