After four days of haziness and relatively poorer air quality due to the effects of forest fires burning North of us in Canada, I wake up today to clear skies and the Sun beaming down in all its strength as it makes its ascent into the day. Even the birdsongs seem a bit crisper and more joyous, and a sense of greater peace seems to be present in the morning routine of the robins who visit the backyard. I decide to walk barefoot on the grass, absorbing the lightest of the moisture over from last night’s dew, as I break into a spontaneous chant of ‘Earth, Earth, Earth…’ with every step.
This combination of walking barefoot and thanking the Earth at each step is a new beginning for me – something that I was prompted to do during meditation earlier this morning. On the East-facing side of the lawn, I check on the hydrangea bushes that are getting ready to bloom any day now. The ones in full morning sunshine are farther along than the one that sits in the shade on the western end as the latter only gets sunlight from the late afternoon sun and its buds haven’t quite emerged yet. Regardless, it feels like a new beginning is imminent for all of the hydrangeas, the young and the old. The same goes for the willows — the three older ones with the two year head-start that are almost dwarfing the two younger ones next to them by the fence line.
The mother rabbit who shows up every morning and evening loves them all as she takes turns sitting in the shade of the willows, young and old, gathering food for her young children so that they can thrive in their new beginnings every day. The days of haziness haven’t much disrupted her routine. A family has to be fed. The dogs often sit on the deck looking for signs of movement under the willows, ready for the chase as soon as they detect her movement – rarely does a new day begin for them without a sprint along the fence line. They have no chance of catching her because she’s faster, and there’s a fence between them!
And yet, their daily ‘failure’ at chasing the rabbit doesn’t ever deter them from asking the same question multiple times every day – will today be a new beginning where we may perhaps ‘succeed’? There is no certainty in the answers to the questions surrounding new beginnings, but there can often be an emergence of new clarity that creates courage. With new courage, we may explore a bit more, expand our circle of awareness and inquiry, and find ourselves facing new experiences, which in turn create ‘new’ beginnings for us. The wheel of a every beginning gradually comes full circle, even though the circle may never fully close.
Is that what ‘graduation’ is perhaps all about – a gradual opening of the chrysalis so that blood can flow into the wings and the butterfly can emerge?
New beginnings can often come with their challenges and opportunities for overcoming too. It makes no difference whether you are a new rose bush emerging from winter, a baby rabbit surviving through spring, a team of blackbirds chasing away hawks and vultures from their ‘no fly zone’ or rabbits using camouflage as the primary mode of defense for their newborns. As I look forward to traveling to a high-school graduation event this Saturday, I wonder – what will my niece’s new beginnings hold for her? What surprises may await her as she navigates college in a new town later this year? How will the family dynamic in her home change as she, the eldest daughter, leaves the nest for new skies and new storms? What will the new beginning mean to her life?
For me, new beginnings are synonymous the energetic flow of life itself . How about you? What do new beginnings signify to you? How do you celebrate them? What could you create with your next ‘graduation’ when a new beginning is flowed into you?
P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering and twitter chat in #SpiritChat, Sunday June 11 at 9amET / 1pmGMT / 630pm India. I invite you to bring some ideas and images that convey ‘new beginnings’ to you. Namaste – @AjmaniK