Cycles. Seasons. Rhythms. Life.

Pink Flowering Plums

“I can’t stop pointing to the beauty.” ~ Rumi

I went for a walk yesterday. As I turned a corner on my usual route, I was stopped by the beauty blazing before me: a flowering plum in full bloom. I didn’t expect to see a tree in full bloom. Winter is still here.

I looked closely at this tree: soft, tender flower flesh budding directly out of hard, seemingly rigid gray branches; clusters of blossoms blooming together, some barely nubs, others completely open and ready to fall; each moving to its own rhythm, even though they are all danced by the force that is the tree’s true nature.

I realized, once again, how much is happening, under the surface, away from our eyes and senses. This tree is always transforming, growing, shedding, dying, and being reborn.

Cycles. Seasons. Rhythms. Life.

And, I realized how, when I am focused on things, I can miss what is happening right in front of me.

Just like the flowering plum, so much is happening within me, away from eyes and senses. We are always moving in cycles, seasons and rhythms, shedding layers, buds opening, leaves falling.

I’m leaving today for a ten-day silent retreat. I’ve craved the silence. And, while in my head the retreat begins today and I’ve been busy getting things done so I can be away, under the surface part of me is already there, already moving within. Even as I’ve busied myself getting ready, part of me is already slowing down. This isn’t visible to anyone else, and surprisingly, just barely to me. In hindsight, I see how things are getting stirred up inside, telling me that on some level my psyche knows what’s coming.

Sitting in silence for many days brings much of your stuff up to the surface where it can be seen, and if you’re willing to sit with patience and compassion, liberated.

So much of what we believe is real and true is simply illusion. I’ve found that sitting in meditation, or dancing, which is my moving meditation, allows me to see through the imagined stories that have me believing the conditioning we swim in.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “‎~ If you can recognize illusion as illusion…it dissolves.

In seeing the flowering plum, I woke up out of the illusion that spring is far off, that life is static, that death is simply death. I remembered that life is erotic.

Life is a stream of change happening in both visible and invisible ways. We are each moving to our own rhythm, while we are danced by the force that is our true nature.

And, you?

What is happening within you that is just barely beginning to show itself, just beginning to bud?

What is dying during this winter within?

How is the erotic nature of life moving within you?

How is this nature whispering to you to move?

What is life asking of you?


While I am silent, this blog will be silent.

I’ll see you in ten days.

Pink Flowering Plums by Karl S Johnson | Some rights reserved

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