What does it mean to celebrate wholeheartedly? For me, it means risking blossoming. Anais Nin says ‘and the day came when the risk of remaining tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom’.
Blossoming can be as gentle as the unfolding of almond blossom like these buds from Cowra Japanese garden I photographed on a visit last month. Despite the delicacy of the petals there is always a moment of bursting. Poppies shoot off their little caps and unfurl their fiery colours. The cap or more properly, the operculum, of a eucalypt blossom, falls or pops or is shyly pushed aside.
When we are ready to demonstrate our authenticity we are free to blossom. Sometimes that means being willing to explore and reveal our own imperfections, eccentricity and failings, and to be all that we are. With freedom we can push aside what restrains us, shake out our petals and shine in our own beauty. And yes, we can continue to strive.
On Saturday, I celebrated my first birthday party for many years. I invited people I love to come to a generous friend’s house and bring or wear something that represented their connection to me.
One friend wore a scarf I had given her with a tiny Eiffel tower hanging from one corner. She told of the scarf tying lessons I had conducted at our workplace. Another friend told of the layers of our friendship represented in the card she made from strips of torn paper in the greens I love to wear. A visual artist showed a tiny illustration of a cup of tea beside an open book, and told me that it represented the refreshment and stimulation of our conversations. Yet another friend brought a beautiful saggar fired bowl that triggered a memory for him of an image I had used by a glass artist of transparent hands creating a beautiful vessel.
The night was thick with stories and camaraderie and conversation. I blossomed and many of my friends did as well. I want to risk that more.