|“There is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus.” Thich Nhat Hanh
This time of the year we are reminded of the cycle of life for all living things. It’s particularly easy to focus on the new – the planting and watering of seedlings, watching the spring blooms appear, and the new things that are developing in our worlds. This could be celebrating new ventures, exciting changes, or the grass turning green. Spring makes us think of birth and renewal.
Yet, we should not forget for the new to emerge we must accept the passing of the old. Nothing in nature nor our personal or professional lives stays the same. All of our plants and flowers have a beginning and an end. As we grow, parts of us are retired or put to rest. People change and pass away from us.
My father recently told me he sees death as making space. It is a space and one that comes with a lot of feeling. In this space we may feel grief and loss; fear and trepidation; and even hope and promise. We miss our loved one, wish for the time that has passed, or long for the bloom that just fell.
This space is muddy. It is filled with experiences, memories, perceptions, and our emotions. Of course, we want to push that muddy place away. At the very least, we want to clean it up; make it look pretty. We want it to feel better. But, it is out of the mud that seeds take root and grow into new beginnings. When we can sit with this murkiness, we can learn how to nurture what is to grow out of this time, the rebirth.
So, even though the days have been dreary and rainy, honor the mud that is created. Remember that it is a part of the cycle. When we are mindful to the mud, we can be even more present for the lotus that emerges from it.