Thanksgiving rose

Here is a Thanksgiving rose for you. Why, you may say, is this a Thanksgiving rose? This picture represents so much I have to be thankful for, and I almost overlooked it.

thanksgiving rose

The rose came from a bouquet of flowers I bought half a week ago to beautify my home. Sometimes you need to buy yourself flowers. My husband understands that I like flowers; he just doesn’t understand which flowers I like. Rather than feel like he should read my mind, I buy my own bouquets. I think that is very healthy. You have to show love to yourself first. I’m thankful for self-care.

There were two roses in the bouquet. One was drooping by the second day. His neck had gotten crimped somehow and he couldn’t stand up correctly. Rather than let him droop and wither sooner than the other flowers, I decided to save him. I’m thankful for being thrifty. I’m thankful for being able to adapt to new situations.

The rose is in a glass bottle that I realized a week earlier would be good for a bud vase. Instead of putting it in the recycle bin, I decided to save it. I’m thankful for the gift of being able to see alternate purposes for things.

The rose has been on that windowsill for a few days, but I’d never seen it in that light. Today, just now, I was fortunate to notice it, with just the right shadows and color. It was pretty before, but today it is beautiful. If it had been with the other flowers in the bouquet it would not have gotten this attention. So sometimes adversity is good for us. I’m thankful for new ways of thinking. I’m thankful that I saw this beauty this day.

And then there’s all the stuff in the picture that isn’t the rose. I’m thankful for a house to live in. I’m thankful for a yard to play in that keeps me a little insulated from my neighbors. I’m thankful for a central air unit that works well on this cold day. I’m thankful for good windows. I’m thankful for the cheery sunshine. And I’m thankful for a husband to share it all with.

I had none of these things a dozen years ago. It has been so long that I’ve had these blessings that I’ve almost started to take them for granted. I’m trying to remember that every day is a blessing, and every day is a gift. When we start taking blessings for granted is when we start to forget how blessed we are.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, no matter where you are.

Parasites

Such a negative word. Parasite. You think of vermin and viruses. You think of slimy, gross things eating away.

This is such a human-centered way of thinking. If it doesn’t benefit us, it is bad. I’ve written along with others that our need to define things as good or bad is part of our undoing. We have this need to control in our need to define.

What is against us has to be bad. Of course.

But mosquitoes are what birds eat. Their song, their strength in flight, is fed by these insects that cause us torment.

Who knows about tapeworms and viruses? Who knows what purpose they play? Do we have to know?

When we take antibiotics, anti-life by definition, we are killing these very viruses. They are growing and thriving in an environment that is hospitable for them. Perhaps kinder would be to just prevent the environment in the first place.

Is it the fault of moss that it grows in a wet place? No. So if you don’t want moss, fix what is causing the moisture.

What about cancer? Cancer is mindless, but it grows and divides. Is it alive?

Part of the mission of Star Trek was to seek out new life.

They flew around the universe encountering countless beings that looked like people and countless more entities that looked nothing like life. Week after week we learned along with them to see value in these beings, these entities. We learned to see them as having a purpose, as having sentience.

The most important thing we can learn is that just because their purpose and sentience isn’t the same as ours doesn’t make it wrong.

We’ve heard that just because someone else is on a different path doesn’t mean they are lost.

So, does this mean that we allow the tapeworm to move in? Does this mean we show compassion to cancer and we don’t cut it out?

These are hard questions, and I’m not sure I have the answers.

I think there is something in there about boundaries.

I’ve heard one definition of jealousy is thinking that someone has something that is yours.

Surely your body is yours.

But if it is, consider this. A rabbi once said that “Is that your nose? Where is your receipt?”

We don’t create ourselves. We have some influence on our bodies by what we eat and if we exercise. We can somewhat shape ourselves. But for the most part our bodies are gifts to us. Unmerited.

Our bodies are temples. Our bodies house our souls. Even our souls are gifts. Consciousness is a gift of the Creator.

Who are we to refuse entrance to other members of creation?

Now, if we keep our bodies in bad shape we will invite more things than we might know how to deal with.

It is like having a small house and hosting a huge party. We might have a lot more party-goers than we know what to do with. We might run out of party food and they will start eating our staples. We might have to call the police.

But what happens when the party goers are cancer? Is the doctor the police? Doubtful, considering the nature of Western medicine. It treats the symptom rather than the cause. But that is the focus of another post, another day.

I don’t have the answers. I’m OK with asking the questions and living into the answers. Sometimes just asking the questions is a good start.

The biggest thing I want to get across is that just because something isn’t for us, isn’t part of our plan, doesn’t seem to have a purpose that benefits us – doesn’t mean it is bad. It just is. It is part of creation. Perhaps we don’t have eyes to see the purpose. Perhaps it doesn’t have a purpose, and perhaps we need to be OK with that.

We tend to want answers, and closure. Perhaps it is healthier just to observe without judgment.