Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Bright Red Berries

“Expect your every need to be met. Expect the answer to every problem and expect abundance on every level.” ~ Eileen Caddy

The past few days have been unusual ones for Raleigh NC – an uncharacteristic snow storm for the area, coupled with extremely low temperatures, has turned this southern city into a winter wonderland.

When I went out for a walk with my daughter, yesterday, I thought the scenery was quite striking – the Carolina blue sky, crowned by a glorious sun, intensified the pristine beauty of the soft blanket wrapped tight over homes and yards.

On my way back home I saw one of my neighbors come out holding a bowl of birdseed; she was dressed in black pants and a soft green sweater, the color of which stood out against the ethereal white of the snow like an emerald laid over a rich cloth in the window of a jewelry store. I thought it was very sweet of her to think of the birds, since they were probably struggling to find a meal under the layer of snow and ice, and I reminded myself about some leftovers in the fridge I could bring back for some of the wild animals living in the woods behind my house.

I got home and stood in front of my kitchen sink to fill the teakettle with water, and my attention was stolen by something I rarely notice outside the window - a Robin was sitting on one of the branches of the huge bush beside my deck, happily feasting on some of the berries. Nothing unusual about that, but what really caught my attention was the bright color of the berries, a sanguine red which stood out against the green of the leaves and the white of the snow – unless a bird was blind, those berries could not be missed.

The episode got the wheels in my head spinning...the berries were in plain sight, and elevated from the ground where they could not be hidden by the fallen snow; they were bright and inviting, grouped in grape-like bunches; it was almost as if they were bearing a sign saying: ‘Free groceries.’ I suddenly remembered that during my walk I had seen several other bushes of the same type, all laden with red berries.

The birds didn’t fret about the storm, nor did they worry about dinner – they only concerned themselves with being, leaving all worries to the wind and knowing on a deeper level that they would be sustained. And they were; in plain red berries.

Universe knows no limitations and no lack of abundance – when something is needed, it is promptly and amply provided without delays. We are the ones who cause our own limitations, and become so absorbed by our dramas that we fail to see the bounty all around us. Birds often sing before dawn even breaks, and just because it is still dark around them, they don’t doubt for a minute that the sun will rise; to the contrary, they sing in gratitude before the first ray of light shows itself in the east.

By focusing on what doesn’t work, we easily overlook whatever has been provided to fill our need, even if it sits right in front of our eyes. As Sarah Ban Breathnach said, “Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend…when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives, but are grateful for the abundance that’s present – love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and the small pursuits which bring us pleasure – the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.”

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