Fig at sunset

Sometimes I do this morning meditation/visualization in which I ride a fat-tired bicycle down a quiet lane until I come upon my future self. Her name is Poppy and she is always wearing colorful clothes and usually she shows up on a unicycle. I’ve been doing this exercise on and off for about a year and always within the few minutes that I visualize, Ms. Poppy will hand me something or take me someplace. For those of you who have been around Simply Celebrate for awhile, you might remember that once Poppy took me to sit under a cherry blossom tree and that’s how I got the name for this blog.

Anyway, at the risk of being too woo-woo California, I have to say that these simple visualizations always lead me to some deeper place of understanding about where I am at any given moment. (And I don’t mean geographically!)

This morning when I met Poppy along the lovely tree-lined path, she told me to hop on the bicycle-built-for-two, which she happened to be riding, and she took us down the lane, a-whistlin’ as she rode, until we stopped at the very same cherry blossom tree that we had stood under months ago (in my earlier visualization.)

I looked up at the tree and was dismayed to find that all the cherry blossoms were gone. It was bare. No color or blossoms, just dark branches reaching into the sky.

Poppy, sensing my disappointment (she’s very astute, even though she isn’t real), explained to me that if I looked in a new way, I would be able to see the beauty in the pattern and the structure of the tree branches and limbs. There —did I see how some branches were thick with age and held up the newer limbs? And there, could I see some branches that were broken and ready to fall— no longer necessary? She pointed out that when the tree was covered in blossoms, I hadn’t been able to see the foundation. Nor had I been able to see the sky.

Being a lover of metaphor, I got it. Immediately. Right now in my own life I’ve been wanting to realign myself with my deepest values. I’ve been stepping back and trying to get a wide-as-the-sky perspective on my life. I’ve been wanting to pare away some of the beautiful busyness and remind myself of what is at the core of my life.

Poppy’s journey with me to the barren cherry blossom tree was her way (er, my own way) of reminding me that sometimes in our lives it is great to be caught in the gorgeous and dizzy swirl of activity and happenings. At other times, we all need to step back and re-visit our foundational beliefs, needs, and goals.

Like the cherry blossom tree, sometimes we’re abloom with ideas and new life. At other times, we turn inward and just wait patiently, eyes turned toward the sky.