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  • Writer's pictureNancy Willbern, PhD

Unlikely Surprise

I've been spending time in Nature, trusting that It has something to teach me. On Saturday, I went out to sit on my back porch, scanned the vista that stretches past our property line into the canyon and out towards the Texas hill country. It was pretty and green with new spring growth. That rolling landscape always brings me a sense of expansion and gratitude - that I get to look at it anytime I want - but the view didn't seem to be speaking to me. So, I just sat and looked and listened, honoring Sarah Blondin's* suggestion to Be... Receive... Give Thanks. I heard the white wings cooing and watched the squirrels scamper up and down the trees, claiming the bird feeder as their entitled domain, but I didn't notice any new Wisdom in their antics. Be... Receive... Give Thanks. I waited and watched and listened.

And then, my sight was drawn to a burst of orange in the middle of the Yaupon grove in the corner of the yard. I wondered what it could be. Orange didn't belong there. Maybe it was an old balloon caught in the branches or the remnants of dried leaves left hanging from winter's sleep. I got up and walked down to the grove to get a closer look. To my surprise, I recognized the orange blooms as trumpet flowers from the vine that grows up and over the neighboring fence. The old-guard vines were just barely peeking over the fenceline with their new growth. By the middle of summer, they will be thick and lush and heavy with their trumpeting blooms. The single vine on which this surprising splotch of color hung had stretched its way up the trunk of the neighbor's Cedar Elm, attached itself to the top of the nearest Yaupon and then audaciously burst into a cluster of orange. This little out-of-place-too-early-for-the-season bouquet defied the time and the space of its natural evolution, walked right past protocol and seasonal expectations, and boldly dared to reach its fullness through an inner timing and an inner wisdom, all its own. And that was just what I was looking for, but didn't know it. I smiled and nodded in its direction. I gave thanks.

*You can find Sarah Blondin's Guided Meditations on the app, Insight Timer - or - go to her website at: She is one of my favorites!

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