“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~Gilda Radner
There is one thing I know that is definite about life….we are all going to die someday. Now I know this is not a major revelation nor even a pleasant thing to think about. But the realization of this fact recently caught up with me. Prior to that, this fact was pushed far down into the nether reaches of my brain so I didn’t have to deal with it.
Talking about death was scary because for me there was nothing definitely known about what happens to us when we die. I also didn’t want to leave those I loved, and there was so much I still wanted to do with my life. But the fact that I am going to die someday was always looming somewhere in my brain even if I resisted it.
And dealing with the death of loved ones, I think was even more painful because I couldn’t accept the finality of death. That sense of loss was too great for me. So I always pushed it away. Recently, it has been continuing to dominate my thoughts. Perhaps because of my mother’s failing health. And perhaps because another birthday is coming closer to another decade done for me.
These thoughts had been weighing on me, and it was finally time to face them….to deal with them as we each must do in our time. And when I ran across this quote, everything suddenly changed for me…becoming clearer.
I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. ~Brené Brown
And reality hit me square in the face….I had been limiting myself, my life. Not really living…wrapped in deep fear, and dipping deep into unhappiness many days, all because I couldn’t deal with the uncertainties of life. And maybe too because the only certainty was not such a pleasant prospect.
As a gardener, I face uncertainty every season. When winter yields to spring, I am never sure what damage will be shown once the snow melts. What flowers and plants will have succumbed to nature’s wrath and the natural process of dying.
In gardening it is an accepted fact, this life and death cycle. If you don’t accept it, you won’t be gardening for long as the disappointment can be too great and defeating for some. But not for me. I have learned from my mistakes, and the ravages of nature that are out of my control. I have shifted my perspective, and learned to accept each season as it comes, no matter what happens and enjoy the garden knowing it is never the same year to year.
So why does it seem easier to accept uncertainty in my garden? I think because the joys I have found in gardening far outweigh any disappointments, and maybe make the successes of the flowers that present themselves so much more meaningful.
I have even come to enjoy the stages or seasons in my garden. The first signs of new life and focusing on the beauty it brings as we get into the many flowers of spring and summer. And learning to love the fading autumn beauty of my garden, still alive and exquisite setting up new life as it turns to seed.
These stages of life in my garden have become an inspiration for me. They present themselves in each day as the sun begins to lighten the sky, until the last rays of light fade bringing the beauty of the stars at night. I appreciate the fullness of each part of my day as new experiences dawn, and my body breathes in the life each new hour brings.
And I have begun to notice myself in each subtle shift this year. I have learned that while I know there is a winter in my garden, as there is in my life, I don’t have to perseverate on it. Instead, I can acknowledge that my time, like my garden, is limited, but it is in the moments between my birth and death that I find my greatest joys and fulfillment…this is where I choose to reside, to bloom and grow until my last breath. Seeking the uncertainty where that delicious ambiguity resides.
Note: In the Language of Flowers, daffodils represent uncertainty. I decided to feature daffodils that were hit by a snow storm last year, and still continued to go on blooming brightly. When they were weighed down by the cold and snow, I was uncertain if they would survive. There was a beautiful quality about these daffodils even as they faced death. But in the end they showed their resilience and strength as they went on to live their lives fully in my garden.
I leave you with another thought about uncertainty. Feel free to download this photo and share.
All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015. Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.