flower buds and possibilities
Flower buds are powerful symbols. They represent new life, the arrival of spring, and the possibilities of beauty. It’s been a very cold winter in Pennsylania, with more snowstorms than I can keep track of. I’m a person who really loves snow—but even I am sick of it all. Winter just won’t let go.
When we’re weary of winter, we look forward to seeing the new buds on the trees. We get excited when we see the crocus buds peeking up out of the snow. But often we don’t pause to appreciate the bud itself. Instead of being mindful and living in the moment, we jump ahead to the blooms. We see the buds, yes, but we can’t wait for the flowers! Just bring on the flowers already!
What if we took the time to pause and soak in the buds? Well, it would mean more time standing outside in the cold, for one thing. It would mean accepting these cold days for what they are, instead of what we wish they were.
So I stand outside, in the cold, looking at the buds. Around them is muddy, wet ground, with partially-melted snow. Everything looks tired and dirty, in colors of grey and brown. I feel the March sun, stronger than it was in January and February, but still struggling to appear behind the grey clouds. I feel the chilly air and am thankful for my warm coat and hat, even though I am tired of wearing them.
I look at the buds, and I feel the anticipation of what’s to come. Purple flowers, or maybe yellow. Bright, cheerful colors.
The buds represent possibilities. Those buds could be anything!
The buds are so slow to open. They are responding to the cues of nature: the longer days, the warmer sun. It may snow again before they bloom fully. I hope not, but it could happen. We’ve had snow in April before. Nothing I do will make them hurry. All I can do is wait.
Lotus Bud Hand Mudra
I think about the lotus bud mudra, the hand position that we sometimes practice in yoga. For this mudra, bring your hands to your heart, with palms together and thumbs against your breastbone. Keeping the fingertips together, start to draw the knuckles outward, making the shape of the lotus bud. Imagine that this bud represents all the possibilities inside you.
What things in your life are budding? Are you anxiously waiting for something to happen? Are you longing for something to occur? Acknowledge these things. Practice contentment in this time of waiting. Remind yourself that all good things happen at just the right time—just as nature intends, with perhaps longer days and stronger sunshine.
Remind yourself that yes, the bud will one day become a flower. Then you’ll get to see, finally, what you’ve been waiting for. At last, the perfect flower! With delicate petals, maybe a scent, and pollen on the inside. A vibrant color. Something so beautiful, it’s tempting to pick it, and bring it indoors where you can look at it all day.
But before we have the flower, we have the buds. The anticipation. Don’t skip this special time.
In what ways are you longing for spring? What possibilities lie dormant in you? How could you encourage those possibilities to flower?