"Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing...
Where have all the flowers gone...
Long time ago."
I'm feeling nostalgic. Want to join me? As I submitted a donation to my nephew's cancer page (he's training in a marathon via the Marines - he does not have cancer, but I do have a cousin that died of hodgkins, so... I had to donate; please feel free to join us), I began musing on time. That elusive butterfly, that stealer of dreams, that destroyer of life...and I started humming the lyrics to Pete Seeger's 1960's tune, shown above.
Are you looking for the flowers? Are you remembering the flowers that have gone by the way? The young girls have not picked them all - and the young men are not all gone to soldiers.
As I sit here at my newly rearranged workspace, I can look out the window and see flowers everywhere. I see bright sunshine streaming across warm green lawns. I see trees lifting majestic branches to a clear blue sky, drinking in the day. I see light, and hope, and dreams of wonderful things to come, floating in a soft, summer breeze.
The dreams are sometimes in the flowers. But, you don't have to pick the flowers to see the dreams come to life. You just have to believe.
Just the other day I was lucky enough to be able to present a Blogging 101 talk to some women in our local NAWBO chapter. Two men also showed up! Kudos to them! (hop over to Chuck's blog and say hello - it's worth your time).
As I stood at the front of the table and looked around at all those eager faces - faces of women my own age, faces of women much younger, faces of eager learners with bright eyes and shining smiles - I thought of flowers. I thought of each of them as a beautiful, colorful flower. In the few minutes I had to quickly glance around the room, while Jonna, the President of the chapter, introduced me...I felt more alive and full of hope than I have for many weeks. I took a deep breath and in that moment, I felt my lungs fill with the most delicious fragrance - the fragrance of life. I felt the tingle of happyness (see the movie), and witnessed a glow flowing from these women; and in this golden aura I sensed their inner flower - that essence that brings joy to each of us.
That essence of joy isn't for diamonds or pearls. Not cashmere or lace. Not gold or silver. It's in the flowers - a tangible fragrance that fills us with wonder. In that room, surrounding those women and men, the laughter, the joy of congregating together to share stories, and learn something new, was like standing still in a garden, on a Sunday evening, listening to the flowers whisper to each other.
And the whispers were of tomorrow, of beauty, of touching petals and feeling the warmth of the night wind. These were not flowers to be picked. They were flowers to be admired and embraced. These women (and the two men) were members of Mother Earth - they each moved to a different beat, a different tune playing in their head, I suppose. I saw, in my imagination, all their hopes and dreams floating like clouds around the petals of their lives. Pure white clouds filled with the rain of tomorrow - rain that would help them blossom and embrace the treasures life offers us all.
It was my job to commune with them and show them new ideas, new tools, new ways to grow even taller, to be brighter and more colorful, to share delight and to embrace the world waiting outside the doors of that little conference room. It was my job to show them how a blog can do all that - and even bring in business.
I don't know how I did. They applauded, afterwards. Many stayed to talk further, ask more questions, try to understand this "blogging" thing that seems so natural to me, and perhaps to you, dear reader. I learned a lot - one always does at these events. I learned the power of looking at the garden of life for the freshest flowers - the ones pushing eager faces to the sun -- because they are the ones who will lift you up, even in your darkest hour.
As we all exited to the parking lot, the sun was shining in a fading sky. But these women were not faded. They were blazoned with color and energy. For that shining moment, they were the brightest flowers in the garden. What a treasure it was to see.
Are you embracing the flowers in your life? Are you helping your women customers embrace their inner flower?
Where have all the flowers gone? They're here - in all of us. Let's keep the garden growing and glowing. Plant a new idea somewhere, today.