Friday, March 1, 2013

Stepping On The Path Of Courage

I had originally intended to write a totally different blog today on a totally different subject, but very often life takes us down a different garden path and the learning starts when we gather our courage and take that first step.

I, along with millions of people around the world, have been watching the unfolding events in Rome as His Holiness, Pope Benedict, takes his leave. Although I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church, I chose a different path over 40 years ago that has led me to where I was meant to be. However, things like faith, love and courage blur the lines of religious differences and surely this week we have been witness to all three. It is that last one, courage, that got me to thinking as I sat down at the computer this morning.

As we get older, it takes courage to be willing to let go of those things that we have done or believed in for most of our lives. Change is always hard, but change, like the seasons, is a part of life. The garden needs to sleep in the winter so it can come back renewed in the spring. The things of our past sometimes have to remain in the past so that there is room for new things and new adventures in the here and now, and the opportunity for more in the future.

It took a great deal of courage for this holy man to take a step that no one has taken for the last 600 years. It took great faith and love for his church for him to be willing to break with the traditions of the past to make way for something new. He took his first step on a new and different path. Who knows where it might lead?

When people tell me they are having trouble growing something in their vegetable garden that they always had success with before, I will ask them if they are still planting it in the same spot as they always did. I tell them that rotating their crops is healthy for the soil and the veggies. If that doesn't work, I tell them to consider letting that piece of the garden go fallow to give it a chance to renew and replenish itself. If all else fails, my best advice is to pull out the veggies and plant a meditation garden ... and don't forget the stepping stones.

And so it is.