Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What inspires you about you?

A long time ago (in blogging terms) Karen Shanley posted a question: “What plant represents you?” I was thinking about this on my bird walk on Sunday after coming across many Honey Locusts along the trail.

My answer at the time had been the Honey Locust tree because of its usually thorn covered bark. Not all Honey Locusts have thorns but many in the wild do. At the time I was getting a lot of unasked for advice and generally under a lot of stress; and I needed space to get myself in hand and the only way it seemed I could do it was to get prickly from time to time.

But Karen mentioned that these trees have beautiful sweet-smelling blossoms in the spring which I was unaware of having never seen them at that time. But I reflected on this juxtaposition of thorny and sweet and decided that it was also true of me. When people were respectful and got inside they thought I had sweet qualities as well.

My walk Sunday took me next to a brook rushing over some rocks and I was reminded of some lines from Memoirs of a Geisha between Mameha and Surya about Surya’s rain-colored eyes which people were chiding her: “Water is powerful. It can wash away earth, put out fire, and destroy iron.” I recall a couple of other attributes I hear somewhere but do recall the source: “water wants to keep moving” and “when blocked water finds another path.”

I think for the present water has qualities I would like to build into my life and personality. For some, water might not look like a positive character quality choice because it is hard to keep in one place and it doesn't always do what humans might prefer that it do. However, I think its positive traits more than make up for its detractors (if they can really be called that).

At its best water is refreshing, renewing and renewable, changing and an agent of change, and it has a range of many voices from tinkling and lyrical to a thunderous roar. And although a lot of water can have grave consequences even a steady drip is influential.

What represents qualities you want to build in your life?

This post has been edited for omitted content.

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