My daughter-in-law, Gretchen, introduced me to talking about the “Rose and Thorn” of various experiences. The rose being an event that you hold dear or something that was a positive or growing experience. The thorn that represents a challenge or something that you did not like, which can also be a growing experience. Some people also add the Bud, which symbolizes the ideas or hopes you have for your unfolding in the year to come.
The beginning of the new calendar year seems like a perfect opportunity to talk about the rose, thorn and bud. We are also close to the beginning of the lunar new year on February 1, so change is on our minds. (Be sure to see the invitation to our lunar new year celebration below).
I’ll write about my rose, thorn and bud here, and I invite you to share your own by clicking the link at the end of this post.
My rose for 2021 is the time I spent with my father this past year. I was at his 103rd birthday party which was a big affair. About 50 family and friends ate, danced to live music, and honored Angelo in an outdoor barbeque in Michigan in August. In addition, a motorcycle group that honors veterans, called the Patriot Guard Riders, made an appearance to celebrate my father who was a WWII veteran. We were all touched by the pomp and ceremony they gave to the occasion. My father was able to participate in his party, and I was so happy that he experienced how much he was loved and honored.
I also spent his last week of life with him in early November together with my siblings. Dad still had moments of being present and we had many memorable interactions. It was a precious experience that stretched my heart in many ways. I felt both grief for his passing and gratefulness for our long connection. One era was coming to an end and another beginning. The mystery of life and death have been on the front burner in my mind and heart since then. Ultimately, I come back to my desire to live in the potency and ground of this moment with more awareness, presence, and joy. This is in keeping with my father’s famous words, “take it one day at a time.”
My thorn is the continuing struggle with Covid. As with most people, it has changed my work, my teaching and my connection with family and friends. I am sad about the effect that exposure to the virus along with long hours and overwork has had on our health care workers, who are emerging as heroes. I am sad for people who have lost loved ones. For me it has been an exercise in both tolerance for differing points of view and finding clarity within myself about my own decisions and boundaries.
Despite the challenges, I see many things that I consider positive coming out of our struggles. I think many more people in the world realize in a new way that we are all connected and that we must take care of everyone and not just ourselves for all of us to survive. I, like most people, have become more creative in interacting with other people, both with technology and in person. In that way the world seems like a smaller place, and I have deepened relationships with people in other parts of the world. So despite all the scary news in the media, I remain optimistic that in the long run, covid will be a force that brings us together more than it separates us.
My bud is my intention to hold to my course of being more present and alive in the moment, and remain optimistic that this, along with patience, trust and some focused effort, will lead to my unfolding in the new year.
I look forward to hearing from you. Please comment below.
Lunar New Year Open House
Join us for our annual celebration at the Hendricks Park Shelter on Saturday February 5, 2022, 9 am – noon.
We will practice some easy qigong together by a roaring fire and introduce newcomers to our style. Practice is followed by hot tea and snacks while we talk about the animal for the year, the tiger, and its implications for what we might expect to see in society and for ourselves.
We ask for a $10 donation to cover the cost of rent for the shelter and wood for the fire. Please bring a camp chair and a light snack to share.
Beginning Qigong Class
Qigong is a practice that opens us to deeper levels of our present experience in our bodies and in the world around us. We relax and strengthen our bodies, quiet our minds, and refine our awareness through graceful stretching, moving, walking, and breathing combined with an alert presence and visualization. This is called “nourishing life” practice because we refresh our vitality and health as we feel our oneness with the greater universe and absorb its abundance of life force energy, or qi. At the same time, we let go of tension in the body and the mind and clear an inner space for clarity and self-observation.
If you want to bring new energy and a fresh perspective into your life in 2022, I invite you to this 6-week online class which will prepare you to join other Moon and Lotus qigong classes and practices in Eugene.
Dates: Tuesday evenings, February 8 – March 15, 2022
Times: First class 6:30 pm – 8 pm; following classes 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Place: online via zoom
Fee: $60 if paid by Feb 1 and $75. after Feb 1. If that amount is difficult for you now please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org I do not want finances to be a barrier.