By Rev. Carol Bodeau
This week, we will be celebrating our annual Flower Communion. This is the service where we all bring flowers from our home gardens or from those abundant in our grocery stores and farmers’ markets, and we share them in a collective display of beauty. At the end of the service, everyone is invited to take home flowers from the rows of communal bouquets. This ritual symbolizes both the gifts we bring into community, and those we receive.
One of the things I like best about this ritual is that we never know what flowers we’re going to end up taking home, because we don’t know what someone else will bring to the table. Like a good potluck (and those are starting again this spring, by the way, on third Sundays of the month) we can feel curiosity and excitement about the wonderful things we will get to experience, without being able to really control or fully predict what will happen. Some years, I feel like bringing roses and taking daffodils. Other years, there are exotic daisies or humble, local spring wildflowers. Part of the fun is the surprise. And knowing that, regardless of the specifics, it’s always beautiful.
I think we can take this lesson into many parts of our lives: being able to be curious and excited, without having to totally control all the specifics. Even with our gardens, which we usually plan to a large degree, there’s still a sense of mystery and surprise as those early green shoots start to emerge from the darkness of the soil each year. While we have some basic ideas about what to expect, there is still a bit of the unexpected always around the corner. Which carrots will be twined around one another? Will the new asparagus be thin and reedy, or thick and dense? How many blueberries will we get after that last cold snap? Will the potatoes ever come up?
Here's what I’ve decided, living on a farm: it’s a good idea to expect good things, and to show up eager to experience whatever riches and beauty appear. And it’s also good to let go of trying to control the particulars too closely. Trusting the process makes room for joyful surprises.
Wishing you a spring season filled with the joyfully unexpected.