blossoms of hope

I know that Buddhists believe hope and fear are two sides of the same feeling. As long as there is one, there is always the other. To be free from the grasp of fear you also have to let go of hope. The idea of “cultivating hopelessness” is a strange concept for the Western (especially American) mind, but it really resonates with me. I know from personal experience how easy it is to keep bouncing back and forth between those two states of being. It seems the best way to get out of the futile ping-pong game is to try to take the middle road and relax in the present moment. (Easier said than done, of course.)

But…that all said…when sunny Spring days burst forth with such vigor and promise, I still can’t help but be swept up by hopeful feelings! (I tell myself it’s okay as long as I’m still appreciating the here and now.) For the past few days I’ve been marveling at the sculptural blossoms shooting out of my walnut tree. It makes me think back to my December post when the last leaves were falling from the tree. It’s very comforting to see nature fulfilling its mission and destiny right on time, without question or doubt.

The sage plant right outside my kitchen door has also erupted in a profusion of blossoms. As pretty as they are on the plant, I keep thinking about what I could make with them. I like cooking with chive blossoms but I’ve never made anything with sage flowers before. I’m imagining frying them up in brown butter (along with the leaves of course) and serving on some nice homemade ravioli. Mmm, that post might be coming soon.

Oh, and for those who want to read more of the Buddhist perspective on hope and fear, I’d highly recommend Pema Chodron’s book, “When Things Fall Apart”. (There’s also a short excerpt from it here.)

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