when light falls on the creeping jenny: an advent meditation

I will greet this day with love in my heart. And how will I do this? Henceforth will I look on all things with love and be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars.

~Og Mandino

Yesterday evening, I continued to rake the winter leaves out of my flower and mixed beds.  I love this process because it’s like unwrapping presents–there’s always a wonderful surprise hiding underneath those leaves.  Because of the mild winter this year, even my hostas stand proudly beginning to uncurl their green arms to stretch towards the warm sun.

creeping jenny stepping into spring
our creeping jenny stepping into spring

In the bed directly in front of my house, I have a large blue ceramic planter.  Every spring, the bright green Creeping Jenny peeps through brown leaves then by summer, begins to trail down the side and into the garden.  Yesterday as I pulled away crunchy dead remnants of autumn, I noticed something.  The places where the leaves had settled had left the stems of the Creeping Jenny seemingly brown and woody.  I looked closely, however, and tiny green buds confirmed that they were alive.  Around these stems popped up fully green tips that had reached through the leaves and found the light.

As I continued to clear away the mulch, I realized that those green plants and brown stems represented what happens to us in different seasons of our lives.  Sometimes, we have those dark periods that seem to drain us.  Our bodies and spirits withdraw or become dormant in order to survive.  Then as the light begins to return slowly, as goodness and balance creep in, we blossom–our tiny green buds bursting forth with the energy manifested in love by our Creator.  While we may have areas that seem scarred or dead, those places will heal and grow as we step out of the darkness and into the light.

Just as the season of Winter slowly fades and Spring gradually blesses us with new growth, so do the seasons on our life’s journey.  The next time, you are experiencing the darkness of struggle, pain, or challenge, remember the Creeping Jenny–remember that the life and light will return again.

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