There’s this picture of me, taken during a book signing event this last month, and I’m completely unaware that there’s a camera being pointed at me, but I am smiling one of those smiles where your eyes look up and out into an empty space in the room. Into that space where dreams float just above the laughs and conversations of others. It’s a smile not created from a pose but a smile created from purpose, from blooming. I am blooming. Right now. But I wasn’t before, and I won’t be soon. It is but a moment in time.
And that’s the thing about blooming – it is the brilliant, magical snapshot of all that was and of all that will be. There are entire seasons preceding this moment– planting seasons and growing seasons. And there is the cyclical pattern proceeding – from bright and colorful blooms one moment — that leads back into the dirt — planting and growing. Maybe that is why the blooming is so magical – it symbolizes all that was and all that will be. In its flowering petals, magnificent hues highlighted, face turned upward to a summer sun, it captures, in a moment’s grace the past, the present, and the future.
All this time, I thought the goal was to bloom – to get to that place where all the pieces fall into place, to that place where we bask in the glory of our hard work. Blooming, I thought it would be the pinnacle. And it is. I’m not saying it’s not, but I thought it would be the end. Goal achieved. Done. Complete. And what I’m finding is that blooming is but a moment, a small shard of all the hard work and of all of the growing that got me here. A glimpse. Fading and fragile. But what I am also finding is that there is no end, there is only more. More planting, more growing, more blooming. Each season is temporary and short-lived; and at the same time, each season blurs into the next and is evermore a part of our blooming. Every petal and hue hold a shard of color from all the seasons before, even if for just a moment.
Planting seasons, situated far back in the past, seemingly so distanced from blooming are the seasons that require the hard work. It is rolling up sleeves, dirt beneath nails, sweat on the brow. It is dreaming and digging. Knees on the ground. It is wanting something so badly that you are willing to wake early and stay late. Willing to work hard. Harder. Dig deep. Deeper. In the black spots hovering in front of your eyes, the sun beating down on your shoulders and on the back of your neck, you can see something nobody else can – you can envision a moment full of color, blooms. So you bow your head and dig back into the hearty soil planting seeds of hope.
Growing seasons are full of hope – the first peek-a-boo of green on the dusty ground. But growing seasons are also long, much longer than we can anticipate. They are the seasons that require patience. It is waiting and not giving up. It is whispered reminders that this will all be worth it. It is prayers and affirmations. It is knowing that small buds of green are precursors to emerald and violet and scarlet blooms. It is holding confidence in the palm of your hand like a fallen and fragile hummingbird, speaking quietly and softly, reminding it that it is beautiful and strong. Growing seasons are a stretch, in time and of ourselves. We must stay the course, eyes forward.
Blooming seasons, those brief moments, when we arrive with drenched brow and praying palms pressed together. The culmination of hard work and patience, of planting and growing. Oftentimes, these moments are captured, in snapshots, our faces upward toward the light, our eyes lost somewhere in that space where dreams float. And I think the moment need only be brief, this magical blooming moment, because in that floating space we see all the seasons, all the versions of ourselves, that got us here. But we also see a new horizon, a new field before us needing to be planted. And so we shake our heads clear, pat off our knees, nod in a moment of pride, smile from a place of purpose, and make our way into the barren field.
As summer wildflowers find themselves filled with jeweled tones, faces upward, blooming, I hope you find yourself in the digging and planting, in the patience and growing, in the abundance and blooming. Stay in the moment, whatever it is, because it is but a snapshot. Turn your face upward toward the light.