unexpected beauty in the wilderness

flowershop 3
Originally uploaded by hummeline

This photograph makes me so happy. I took it in Berkeley, when Mum & I went to visit a friend of mine, who works in an outdoor flower shop. It was so full of color, and bunched together in mildly haphazard ways that it made me smile.

I like to have a little bit of California spring as I'm waiting for spring to arrive here in Virginia. Fortunately, the past few days have been promising, and all the pear and cherry trees have begun to bloom, including the tiny ones on my little street.

Spring has always been a time of change for me, as it meant a sad goodbye to college friends, and a joyous reunion with family, but now it is even more.

I have had my time in the wilderness.

WILDERNESS. Loneliness, doubt; darkness. Spontaneity of thought & idea; the vestibule in which a material sense of things disappears, and spiritual sense unfolds the great facts of existence. --S&H p. 597

I like the double definitions (they crop up occasionally) because it makes you re-think a situation. Yes, the first thought when you're thrown into the wilderness is those senses of loneliness, doubt and darkness. But -- and this shows up someone is sent into the wilderness is in the Bible (Hagar, Exodus, Jacob, David, Jesus... to name a few), all ones needs are provided for.

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God -- Rev. 12:6

Once those needs are provided for (which removes the fear), this second half of the definition comes up. It provides this space -- vestibule! -- for that spontaneity of thought. A few months ago, this idea popped into my head that, during this time of wilderness, I should not be asking: What am I missing? but instead: What am I now being given the opportunity to do?

I'm not saying I'm completely without fear of the future. I almost broke down, very scared, in the shower yesterday. The wilderness is not meant to be easy. It is still meant to be a time of trials, but trials that lead to a greater understanding. I just have to remember to trust.

The proverbial seeds sown all along the road include the seeds that fall into good soil and bear fruit "an hundredfold," but it is only with patience that they bring forth fruit.

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