Monday, December 11, 2017
   
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Don't neglect the gifts

The rose bush bloomed all summer. My grandmother always told me, “Roses like their feet wet.” I watered it frequently and relished each new bud and bloom. However, the season was changing, it was growing colder, and I didn’t anticipate the rose bush could continue producing its beautiful blooms.

I stopped watering it and only glanced its direction while passing by, not expecting the gift of beauty. It continued to live, to develop buds, and even to open one more bloom despite my neglect. The rose stayed true to being a rose and gave what it was created to give regardless of what it was given or how it was cared for.

So many life lessons could be gleaned from this rose. Don’t give up too quickly. Stay true to who you are created to be. Don’t neglect the gifts that are present in your life. Give of yourself for it is truly what you were created to give. Keep blooming regardless of your environment or circumstance. Focusing on the future robs you of the acceptance of the present. And the list goes on.

I am open to learning all of the above truths and embracing them in my life. I never cease to be amazed at who or what my teacher is. A friend once quoted Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni to me, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” It is the openness, willingness, and acceptance of the student that allows the teachers of life to appear.

The lesson that stood out the greatest to me was to not neglect the gifts present in my life. I do a mental inventory of where I’ve stopped “watering” the treasures in my life. In what ways have I failed to take the time to appreciate the beauty available to me? Focusing on the future, busyness of life, lack of effort, unacceptance of reality, and taking for granted rob me of the present and the gifts available to me in the now.

An unexpected friendship, hospitality for an overnight stay, a shared glass of wine, out loud belly laughter, a phone call, sunshine through the window on a Fall day, a friend’s offer of help, a furry friend curled up nearby...these are treasures worth noticing. Winter will come and bring its own gifts, challenges, and beauties, but for today I will water the rose bush and relish in every vibrant pink petal.

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