By Jennifer J. Wilhoit
An artichoke heart.
The mudflats at low tide.
A flower stamen.
Guts of a leaf, dog, sea star, ourselves.
The natural world reflects back to us infinite images of the soft core potential Life carries. All life. Us, too.
The natural disasters in subsistence landscapes. Wars, riots, contentious politics. The ecotone between hardness and vulnerability.
A boy hurls a rock in the shape of profanity at an innocent passerby. She could have reacted unkindly, from her own outer crust. Instead, this woman I know chose to move into her own vulnerable core: to see the damage to his tender heart that has compelled him to become stone cold, hard, aggressive. She found her own gentle beauty in that moment instead of defaulting to mean retort. The wisdom of her life told her she could remain safe; the wisdom of her heart spoke volumes about his need for love.
Sympathy toward harshness.
Kindness in the face of adversity.
Warmth facing animosity.
Goodness greeting toughness.
Compassion in the moment of cruelty.
It feels like we really can practice getting softer, riper, gentler as we live through worlds of hostility. Move closer in for a better look. See how the anger is belied by a naked underbelly.
It is within every one of us: the ability for compassion, the ability for destruction.
Where within yourself can you find the seed with the potential to flourish rather than decay? How can you learn to grow rather than stagnate? To become fluid rather than stuck?
Because it does start with each one of us. We can no longer afford to point the finger outward; let’s do away with pointing at all. Let us simply commit to being with our own nature. To finding that soft center.
All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. ©2015 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved.