I just got back from a month in California and didn't give you a heads up because I thought I could meditate and blog at the same time.
It turns out it's hard to write when your eyes are closed, imagine that! ;)
I'm back and delighted that the snow is gone (for this week) and our springtime friends are making an appearance for the first time this year.
Hello not as fat (but still pretty fat) squirrels!
Hello guys wearing shorts when it's too cold out!
Last Sunday me, my sweets and Bella went for a long family walk, and halfway through I couldn't resist two bunches of red tulips I found on Roncesvalles for only $6. Six dollars!
The bargain distracted me from the fact that it would be a long time before they saw water again.
It took an hour and a half to get home, and then I'm embarrassed to say that I got sucked into email for another hour or so before I remembered that I had new babies to take care of.
When I finally turned my attention to the tulips, they were sadder than a clown who missed the caravan out of town. So limp, so lifeless, so so sad...
I did what I could, trimming the ends, peeling off the most lackluster leaves and putting them one by one into fresh cold water with tulip food mixed in.
You've never seen a more depressing flower arrangement. The centerpiece for a called off wedding.
In a final act of desperation, I grabbed a tray of stale ice cubes and dumped the lot in.
The tulips hung their heads all the way down to the table, ashamed of their new mother and for trusting the farmer with their bulbs. All that work, growing and getting ready to bloom, for this?
Before I went to bed the tulips had lifted their heads just enough to memorize my features for their post on the "People Who Hurt Flowers" website.
It wasn't looking good.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into the kitchen the next morning to find a beautiful healthy bunch of tulips, with strong green leaves, stretching and growing to meet the sun like a group of runners at the starting line.
What happened? What was the secret to their success?
Of course they needed water and food, but the last ingredient, the one that really worked...
Tulips adore ice cubes.
Perhaps it reminds them of the cold ground of early spring.
It's only tulips who love ice cubes, a rose would feel very hurt and misunderstood if you threw a bunch of ice cubes into her vase. The rose says, warm water please.
I have to admit that coming back from California left me feeling a bit like those forgotten tulips. Limp, tired, dull. While I was away I felt strong and capable, with moments of extreme discomfort, but always fed, always supported, always connected.
So, I've been on a hunt for the human equivalent of ice cubes, for the secret ingredient to help me spring and grow.
I started by trying the usual. Singing, jogging, meditating, working, tea with friends, etc... But it didn't help. I felt OK, but I didn't feel that jolt of inspiration. I didn't feel Alive with a capital A!
Those things must be the food and water. Expected, needed, but not enough.
What is the ice?
Ice is different. Ice is unexpected. Ice is bold.
I've been sitting with it for a week, trying this, trying that and this is what I've figure out.
Ice is Will.
Ice is opening your eyes in the morning and deciding to wake up.
Ice is writing through the discomfort.
Ice is finally doing the thing you've been procrastinating for months.
Ice is deciding to open, even though it would be so much easier to close.
Ice is not something that happens to you, although it might feel like it at times.
Ice is you saying "Bring it on!" and then opening your arms to receive it.
You may have to remind yourself that you invited the ice in.
You invited the ice because you want to grow, you need to grow, and you're not content to flounder limp and lifeless in a vase of tepid water.
Ice is not the every day.
Ice is a statement, a choice.
It may feel harsh or scary in the moment, like the first dive into a cold spring lake, but after a moment it just feels like LIFE! And just like that cold spring lake, you're never going to get in if you inch your way in, you have to jump.
Remember, tulips LOVE ice cubes.
The ice is something that you LOVE but that scares the shit out of you. What scares you might be something soft and vulnerable, sharp and cool, or muddy and wet.
I'm a tulip, I need ice. I love ice!
Today's ice was finally finishing this blog post and sending it out to you.
What about you? I'm curious, what's your ice? Let me know in the comments below, and if you have a human friend in need of a jolt of inspiration I'd love for you to pass this along.
p.s. If you're reading this and you're not on my list, you should really get yourself on it! I send out a fun and useful email just about every week. Just pop on over here to get on! All the cool kids are doing it!