Monday, May 3, 2010

Working Out the Bugs

Dearest Readers,

When I was a child growing up in the Yukon the wilderness was my backyard. Even though our house was in a proper neighbourhood there was nothing behind it but bush and mountains. My sisters and I had a tree fort and when that got boring we'd venture further afield by climbing the clay cliffs, exploring the forests and running along the hidden backcountry trails.

One of the telltale signs of spring in the Yukon is the crocus flower. With a hairy stem, purple petals and a yellow centre, this sturdy little soldier grows in clumps, pushing up from the ground in the most surprising places. "Haven't seen any crocuses yet," is an oft repeated remark by Yukoners around the end of April.

I have a vivid memory from my childhood of sitting on the slope of the clay cliffs behind our house on a spring day surrounded by an explosion of purple blooms. I remember picking one and examining it closely, admiring its fragile beauty. Upon closer inspection, however, I discovered the flower was crawling with teeny, tiny black bugs. Shocked and repulsed I threw it away as though it had stung me.

On a walk yesterday I saw the first crocuses of spring. A set of twins or triplets here, a clump of fifteen there, their lovely pale mauve and yellow faces shyly opening to the sun. I suddenly remembered the episode I just described and thought how apt a metaphor the story is for the duality of nature.

In everything there is beauty and there is ugliness.

Not that bugs are ugly for all you entomologists out there but humour me, will ya? The Duality of Nature: there is light and there is darkness, there is life and there is death.

As some of you know I am grieving the loss of my friend Leanne Coppen and so, admittedly, I've got death on the brain. The Big Questions are swirling around in my head. The only answer that brings me any peace is this one: The Great Mystery.

There are black bugs in the flowers. There is death in vibrant life. We must live fully every day knowing each side of the equation has its place in the Universe.

Inspiring Message of the Day: I will embrace the duality of Life to the best of my ability. I will accept that being fully human means allowing both darkness and Light to enrich my experience.

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