Acadiana Nature Station

Walking early Sunday morning through the Acadiana Park I came across this sign – “Do not pick wildflowers” and it got me thinking. I love wildflowers and definitely agree with this “rule” because I like to see them growing and if you pick them I will miss them and vice versa but this sign brought me down another path of thought as I walked pondering the “wildflowers” in my life.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “wildflower” as the flower of a wild or uncultivated plant or the plant bearing it. In most cultures around the world the wildflower represents joy. Urban Dictionary defines it as a free spirit., uncultivated by the mainstream, independent thinker, bravely growing wild and free in a world plagued by conformity. The scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll adds to this definition when Alice finds herself in a flower garden shrunk to size of the flowers around her: “Do you suppose she is a Wildflower?”, said the Daisy. “We don’t let wildflowers grow here, Independent minds and wild hearts are not encouraged”.

Wildflowers!!

I have been blessed with so many wildflowers in my life.

Beautiful women forging their own paths,

finding their own ways of being,

searching for the untamed,

going against the grain,

wild and free.

These women have helped to pollinate so many of my thoughts, expanding and stretching me to include and investigate out of my comfort zone. These women have cultivated a safe place for me to find myself learning to settle into my own skin and embrace the beauty I hold. These women have burst through the what is to the what could be. These women have been the honey to some of the bitter lessons of life. These women have been a community for growth, healing and finding treasure.

I am so thankful for the wildflowers that have grown across my path over the years. I am so thankful for the bending to take a closer look. I am so thankful for the picking of each wildflower I was gifted to hold close, to smell the fragrance and to appreciate the beauty! Thank you WILDFLOWERS past and present – thank you!

So…YES! Pick the wildflowers!!!

A friend of mine and I walked the labyrinth at Hospice of Acadiana this early morning. I was sweetly reminded of another friend who lost her life to cancer as I stepped into the labyrinth.

Releasing, Releasing, Releasing!

The letting go and surrendering with each step – moving away from what has been, moving away from what is now the past, moving, letting go, surrender.

Each step intentional, slow, methodical.

Focus on breath,

Focus on movement,

Focus on the thoughts that try to steal this moment of still and surrender.

Letting go…

As I wound my way through the labyrinth I focused on those I have loved, still love, and I let go more. Emptying…Walking with my feet in mind…first my heel strikes the pavement then foot relaxes into the wave of the walk as toes follow the forward movement- each step another opportunity to surrender to what is. Slow my pace to be in this moment.


A final step into the center. Nature singing her song all around me.

The unusually cool August day – thank you God.

The bird orchestra – thank you God.

The lovebugs kissing my skin – thank you God.

The sunshine warm on my neck – thank you God.

The ants busy underfoot – thank you God.

This moment of still in my heart – thank you God.

Breathing, moving, I wind my way back out of the labyrinth, back to where I began. Not the same…different. With a thankful heart I move through the maze thanking God for the people, for the lessons that have been shared between. The love, the laughter, the tears, the prayers, the life lived together but for a season.

Thankful…I move through.

Went on a girls’ beach trip this summer with some friends to beautiful Orange Beach, Alabama. The water was the perfect shade of blue-green, the sand pristine white, the sunrises vibrant orange, yellow and pink.

breathtaking.. the beach never disappoints!

My favorite time on the beach is early morning before the world wakes. The ocean waves, birds, and, if you are lucky enough to spot them, dolphins welcome you into each day at the beach as the sun begins its ascension, transforming the sky into a canvas of color that is never the same with each morning rise. The fireball peeks between the buildings, rising faster and faster up into the morning sky right before your eyes. It really is quite magical!

The girlfriend, who invited me, purchased some waterfront beach chairs with an umbrella for the week. Thank goodness because this white girl turns pretty pink, pretty quick. One morning, with coffee cup in hand, I traipsed out to our reserved chairs to enjoy the morning’s arrival and noticed a stranger in my space. Shoot!! Didn’t he know these chairs were reserved. Not sure what to do, do I move closer and claim my seat or do I find another space to sit? “Inconvenience!”

My very outgoing, biggest heart, love every stranger kind of friend wasn’t too far behind so I stopped and looked back at her with questioning eyes – what should we do? And what I received back from her through the glance of our eyes made me laugh out loud! Like a puppy excited to see its owner return home, this amazing friend lit up and moved in. “Opportunity!” she said.

And there it was – in two simple words – the difference between my experience in that moment and hers!

Inconvenience versus Opportunity

It really is the loveliest of stories – we visited with this man for about 20 minutes and found out that he was on a quick get away with his family that had been planned but hard to come because two weeks prior to this beach getaway he lost his big brother, his best friend to a massive, unexpected heart attack and he was heart broken over his loss. We got to love on him, and pray for him – it was the sweetest of divine appointments. And in my “inconvenienced” mindset I almost missed it. I would have missed it had it not been for my “opportunistic” friend!

I hate to admit it but I tend to live life MORE this way than I care to say. And what do I miss as a result? SO MUCH I do believe. In my concern to stay small, insulated, close I miss opportunities to move in and expand my tent pegs.

I sat that morning after our divine visit thinking about the why behind this way – my history explains most of it – a story colored with past rejection, fear, insecurity, not belonging, jealousy, betrayal, misunderstanding. It’s all there in my history, but our history doesn’t have to be the foundation for our future. I can move pretty quickly to shame and self hatred, I have had years of practice and have mastered this art of self abuse – I initially wanted to compare and hate myself for my reaction but instead suspended and delighted in my friend’s reaction as the lesson to be learned.

What a beautiful OPPORTUNITY to experience. To live life with arms wide open, seeing others, welcoming them in and inviting them to be known. I want to be more like that! It is the loveliest and one of my most favorite qualities about this friend. I recognize that I do offer this – but it is on my time, in my way, very controlled and orchestrated – not wild and free and flowing! I want to free flow in this quality and invite in the opportunities that present themselves to me in each moment offered. I can do this with earth songs – a breeze, a bumblebee, a sunrise – I can pause, open my heart and receive the divinity in each moment – but I don’t pause the same with people that come across my path – the waiter, the store owner, the stranger.

How might days be different if I could stop and see each of these as a divine offer…..

pause,

invite,

and recognize the wonder as I do with a beach sunrise?!

(big sigh)

Every year for Christmas we each give Jesus a birthday gift – something that we choose to work on for the year to develop Christlike character and be more like Him as the year progresses. This is going to be my birthday gift to Jesus for 2021 – to flip this mindset – those moments and people that in the busyness of my life that have felt initially like an inconvenience — flip it — see as opportunity; an opportunity to slow, invite and recognize the wonder right before my eyes! AND I choose to start NOW and not wait until December…I think I will probably need the extra few months to perfect this one! 🙂 (thank you Jeanne, i love you)