I like to walk beside the creek early in the morning before the rest of world stumbles out of bed and into another busy day. It steadies me, readies me for the work of the next eight hours, some of which is planned and expected, some discovered by accident and more reactive than proactive. The few minutes of calm is when I best practice the art of mindfulness, of seeing what’s before me, taking it in, reveling in appreciation and awe.
One morning, I noticed a strip of blue bordering the creek, right where the water met the shore. It was bed of dayflowers (Commelina), those small weedy plants that have 2 ear-like blue petals rising on a slender green stalk. The wisp of color lasts only a day, but gathered in bunches at the edge of the creek, the impact was lovely. I stooped to look at one closely and noticed the stamens curved together, forming a heart – a perfect, tiny heart – tucked into the grasses. I felt like I had stumbled upon a secret, a nod from the universe that spoke love over the wide earth, that promised something more than what I might think I had earned. Love. Everywhere.
And then, indeed, it was everywhere. I saw hearts in vines, in leaves, in rocks, in shadows, in reflections, in the hazy shimmering waves of sun after rainfall. Everywhere. I took it as a sign that no matter how unloved or unlucky I felt at any given moment, love existed around me, inside me, above me, before me. I needed only to look at the wild world for confirmation that I was loved and part of a universe of love. The best part was the ability to give back the gift of love in return – to family and friends, to the land and environment, and to myself and my writing.
Love always has a bit of the unconventional to it, but it’s at its most radical when applied to ourselves and what we do. We want to love ourselves, love our words and our writing, but for some reason, it feels conceited to say so. What if it didn’t? What if we took the world at face value and believed in the hearts all around us? What if the signs we dismiss as simply ordinary are really the extraordinary messages of a universe seeking our highest good? Why do we worry that we haven’t seen enough, done enough, been enough, when the whole world is waiting for us to just be fully ourselves?
There is a world of hearts out there waiting for you to discover them. Once you see one, you’ll see many, so get ready to be bombarded with wild love. Then, pass it on to the people around you, to your own dear soul, to your own wild words.