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One of the many landscaping decisions we had to make after moving into the newly built home a few years ago was – what flower bushes should we plant outside the two windows of the main bedroom on the first (ground) floor? I don’t remember the details of the decision-making process, but the result was one small hydrangea bush next to each window. We had no idea of all the learnings and experiences that the small decision held for us in the ensuing years.

Fast forward five years, and I am spending a lot of time on the deck during my July 4th weekend mini-retreat. Both the hydrangeas are in full bloom after going through what often appears to be certain death during the winter months when all the leaves fall off, the flowers turn to dried out shells of their summer selves, and my mind wonders if there will ever be fragrance from them in the air again.

As if to make my mind look foolish yet again, the breeze picks up a bit in the late afternoon, and I have to put down the Osho book I’ve been reading, because the fragrance comes around the bend onto the deck and demands the full attention of all the senses. It is a reminder that the hydrangea, at its own level of awareness, knows who it is, knows it’s nature is to bloom in the summer and spread its fragrance, knows that it can support the fireflies, the yellow-jackets, the bees, the butterflies for nourishment and more. The hydrangea seemingly knows the domain of its life’s possibilities, and makes the best use of them.

The question that the hydrangea bushes seem to ask of me is – do I know who I am? What is the level of my awareness about what I truly want from my journey? Do I know that my winters are temporary, even necessary for renewal? Do I know the domain of my life’s possibilities, and how my decisions affect the ecosystems that I am part of and may even be supporting?

Yes. A mini-retreat can often bring you face to face with the present and the possibilities that it presents. As you decide on which of life’s varied possibilities to pursue, an answer to ‘who am I’ can clarify ‘what do I want’ — which in turn can present the courage and confidence needed to be in motion like the bee, or be in stillness like the flower.

The distance traveled by the soul is often the same.


P.S. Join us for our weekly gathering and twitter chat in #SpiritChat, Sunday July 10 at 9amET / 1pm GMT / 630pm India. We will talk about life and its possibilities, or maybe about hydrangeas 😉 Namaste – @AjmaniK

A part of one of the hydrangeas in full bloom… so many possibilities to sustain life around it…