Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Dull Time of Year

"Blossoms in the Sand"
- in my meditation garden -

While browsing through the social media yesterday I came across an online comment that really grabbed my attention: Unless you get excited about Valentine’s Day, this is really a dull time of year.

I’ve been reflecting on that one little comment, and in one sense I suppose it’s true that this is a dull time of year. The holidays are over, spring hasn’t come yet, it’s not vacation time, there isn’t even a lot of fresh fruit in the supermarkets – it’s a season for just “showing up” for work or school and getting through the boredom of an ordinary day. Maybe looking forward to Valentine’s Day might help to break the winter doldrums?

I am reminded of something Rainer Maria Rilke once said:

If your daily life seems poor,
blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches.

It may be that we have such difficulty calling forth the riches of our ordinary life because we have such a hard time living in the moment. Many people refuse to believe that their daily life is indeed full of joy and so they always have their gaze set on some big event at some future time and fail to see the riches each moment has to offer.

The more I think about it, this supposedly dull time of year may in fact be a great spiritual gift.  I I firmly believe that the seasons of dullness and the dry times of life are always the places where, if properly nourished, seeds of new life are always growing.

The psychiatrist, M.Scott Peck, once observed:

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur
when our life seems dry, when we are feeling unhappy or unfulfilled.
For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discontent,
that we are able to step out of our ruts
and search for different ways or truer answers.

The older I get, the more I have come to embrace the ordinariness and even the dullness of my life – when my daily life seems poor, it is a reminder to me to become a better poet to call forth the riches life has to offer.

After reading yesterday’s online lament, I looked up an article I remembered reading in one of my Buddhist magazines:

It turns out that when we honestly dare to be ordinary,
the wisdom of the universe opens up for us.
We get to watch for what each day is telling us and asking of us.
When we dare to be ordinary we are able to notice more.
A whole new world of miracles unfolds without end
when we become available to it all.

This morning I noticed that some stunning new blossoms have sprung up from one of the cacti  in my meditation garden - out of the driest sand and sharpest thorns come the most beautiful flowers.

I am very grateful for this dull and ordinary time of the year.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. We can take the same dull and ordinary walk to work yet when we see it we notice how rich it is, or go to the same pond and each time notice how everything changes, or go to work and notice the variety of life in other people. It may be that boredom is when you are just not noticing. There are always new things to see, and it is then that our lives become magnificent! Thank you so much for this reminder xxx