A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros – Susan’s Newsletter August 2016

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Susan's Morning Thursday Note August 14, 2016
Strength from shadows and buds of white flowers.

Good morning!  Shadows have seemed to invade all of nature this morning.  Do they fear their disappearance as the sun appears?  Do they resent their short lives?  Can I learn from these shadows?  They seem to have no fear of change.  Of  being in the background, yet making whatever they mirror seem beautiful in blackness.  They seem to not resent their short life, but rather to show themselves larger than reality.  To stand with strength, with the realization they will change constantly then be gracefully taken off of the set.  Background.  Am I a shadow for friends?  For my children?  Giving them the picture of strength when they need strength, yet able to get smaller and smaller as they feel their own sunlight and gain strength?  Am I able to exit scenes as gently as the shadows do?  To not show resentment at showing strength when needed, then escorted quickly out of their play?  Their song?  Do my shadows, my flowers, my birds, my daily constant friends have any resentful feelings when they are so loyal yet often unnoticed in my background?  Can I again learn from them?

This week I read an excerpt from Sandra Cisneros on her desire to give a friend who encouraged her throughout her life a gift that was experiencing profound grief.  “I wanted to make a gift to a woman I admire.  In gratitude.  She taught me how to understand my dreams and how to soar.”  She then is helped with her decision when she is encouraged after an exhausting day to picture a white flower.  Following is what she was told to imagine which helped her decision to give a white flower as her gift of gratitude to her grieving friend along with a few other writings on white flowers.”

“When you get back to your room tonight, find a quiet space.  I want you to close your eyes and imagine a white flower.  Any kind will do, but it must be white.  Imagine it as a bud.  Now see it opening-opening-opening-opening.  Imagine it in full bloom, as full and heavy as can be.  Now blow all its petals away, so that nothing’s left but the stem.

“That’s for everyone you met and talked to today”

“Now I want you to imagine another white flower bud.  See it opening again.  Opening-opening-opening-opening.  It’s beautiful.  Enjoy it.  Inhale it.  Savor it.  This flower is for you.” 

“I could give her something back for all she had given me.  The next time I saw her I brought a white orchid, luminous as the full moon.  The Japanese say it’s a black cat that’s necessary when one is in mourning.  They say black cats absorb one’s grief.  This may be true, but I know from experience that white flowers know how to listen.  And because I could not say what I felt then, I say it here now.  You are my white flower. I offer you this bouquet, to cleanse and soothe and salve you.  These pages are for you.

Wandering through the woodlands, we cannot fail or notice a small white, delicate, bell-shaped flower, which blooms freely in the shady place, yet may often be found decking the high mountain.  It is the pretty wood-sorrel (Oxalis acetosella)…It was found by Captain Parry in places where scarcely any other flower ventured to blossom…It is a humble little flower, lowly in growth, its delicate pearl-white petals elegantly veined with purple lines…Almost as beautiful as its bright green triplet leaf, shaped like three small hearts joined together at the points, and which spring profusely around the blossoms.  It is the most sensitive wilding we have; for so soon as the evening dews begin to fall, it droops its leaves around the stems, and ever seems to shrink at het approach of night, or the faintest whisper of a coming storm.  (Leigh Page, 1868)

The Little White Flower by P.N.
Along beside a well worn path, among the weeds and briers.
Grew a pretty tiny white flower, wiling away the hours.
It was so unhappy being there, live there really was no fun.
The weeds drank up most all the rain, and the briers soaked up the sun.
The weeds were never friendly, because it didn’t look like them.
The briers were tall above it, and they had berries on their stem.
But there’s a purpose for everything, there’s no use to despair.
For one day a pretty girl picked it, and the flower graced her hair.

My angel of dawn has disappeared with the shadows.  But with the consistency of nature I know she will arrive tomorrow morning.  Maybe I will notice she also has a shadow giving her strength as she brings us white flowers.  Little buds that will open for us.  She hands me two white buds.  One to open and have petals I lose all day as I give to others.  The other with buds that will wait to open when I am alone tonight.  Open only for me.  For my observance.  For my strength.  Will she bring me white buds every morning from now on?  I will not ask this of her, but I will be grateful for the days when white buds are in her hands.  She has already given me the ability to picture the buds opening-opening-opening.  Opening for you and for me.  Daily gifts from our creator.  The white blossom.  The little flower that is picked to grace a little one’s hair.  The little white flower in the meadow that is fragile and wilts in the evenings.  The little white flowers.  Beauty.  Dignity.  Strength.  Tonight we will have the chance to again write in our minds our epitaph for the moments of today.  Will we have moments worthy of inscription in stone?  Will we look into eyes?  To see others and what they need.  If we have nothing to give them then find the ability to give ourselves the mental image of our white bud opening to give us beauty and strength.  To accept this gift.  The white flower.  The lotus bud.  Have a beautiful end of the week.  Thank you for entering my world.  For letting me enter yours again this Thursday morning.  Let us look at our birds, our flowers, our shadows, and then up to the skies where the promise of peace comes from.  Susan

Latin for this week:
umbra – shadow
ex umbra solum – from the shadow into the light
flos germen album – white flower bud

Work Cited:
Cisneros, Sandra.  A House of My Own.  Knoft.  New York.  2015.