by Denise Palmisano
I invite you into my inner sanctuary as I share an experience of a true event in my life. I invite you to read with your own curiosity, wonder and innocence. This is what emerged for me.
Exactly as written 7 years ago.
Today was filled with lightning bolts and experiences of learning. My intention was to approach this day with lots of curiosity and be open to what showed up. My mom has a fig tree in the back yard just a little way off of the breeze way. It wasn't unlike most days that she was on a rant about the damn tree needing to be cut down because it wasn't living up to her expectation of how much fruit it should have produced. Keep in mind she had my brother cut one down last year for the same reason. I didn't say anything and just let her be where she was with the whole thing.
Once she was inside I began to look at the tree with curiosity. I noticed birds dive bombing it, bees swarming it and a host of other insects being drawn to it. At that moment, I too was drawn to it. I studied the leaves, the green balls that hung off of the branches, the specs of red and almost purple ripeness of some of the figs that were baking in the sun. I noticed how the branches intertwined and protected each other, how the heat from the sun had the aroma of the fruit somewhat inviting.
I slowly got up, got a container and a ladder and walked over to the breathtaking smell and beauty. Cautiously, I noticed a few bees resting on a leaf on the outer edge, a bird or two trying to approach the tree and a few misc. insects grazing on some of the damaged fruit. I picked a few of the obviously ripe figs on the outside without much thought. Just when I thought I had picked the ripest of the figs and gotten most of what was there, I took the time to look inside and questioned the logic of actually climbing the tree from the inside or using the ladder to continue to play it safe on the outside. It was awesome.
I chose to climb the tree. Slowly, I carefully peeled back branch by branch and was amazed that the most beautiful of the fruit was on the inside. I filled another container of the luscious fruit even more beautiful than the one before and I was in a total state of wonder and awe. What would have normally been a chore in the heat, getting splashed with the milk and sap of the tree, possibly being stung by a wasp or dive bombed by a bird was actually a learning experience. Suddenly none of the unpleasantness or danger mattered. My experience was that of finding a treasure. As I climbed higher and higher the insights began to overwhelm me.
The thoughts were no longer of the tree and fruit before me. I suddenly became the tree. Once at the top I noticed how so often I had reached a goal or gotten to the top of a place in my life that at one time I thought would really be everything I could have imagined. What I noticed from the top was how even at the top there was rotten fruit, sun damaged leaves, a bad smell and it was scary. All of a sudden being at the top wasn't so pretty. The other observations I made were that the excitement, the curiosity the wonder and awe were in the peeling back of the branches to learn what was inside, to take the time to be with the surroundings danger and all. It was all about the journey. I realized that I was just like that tree. I have often had a camouflage of hard, ugly, not ripe protrusions that somehow have defined or protected the true beauty and ripeness of me. That I haven't always been inviting. That often what others saw was the danger of the sap or the bee stings or the dive bombing of the birds which were such examples of the types of defenses I have used. What I haven't often done was to be in the wonder of allowing others to slowly peel back the leaves and branches to see where the true beauty of me lies. To experience all of me.
I also experienced sadness as I looked down from the top at a stump that just last year was a fig tree just as majestic as the tree I was sitting in. How often had I too cut someone off without realizing their true beauty, their sweetness and pleasure within. I was sad about the missed opportunities. I almost cried as the awareness overwhelmed me.
I also became real aware of not picking all of the fruit. Another thing that kept going on at that moment was don't take more than you will need, there are a number of God's creatures tempted by the fruit and in need of nourishment. In other words, only take what you are willing to give back to the world and others in need.
I am grateful for the invitation to be curious, for the opportunity to practice being curious and most of all for the fig tree who stands so majestically by the door that I go in and out of every day.
Well, i don't live there anymore yet opportunities to experience curiosity, wonder and innocence are with me always. My work is to remember that this is a journey. The more I live in each moment, with each person keeping an intention to always see what I can learn, I will have less regret and certainly less incompletions. Once again, I am in awe at how perfect everything around me is especially what I don't yet know. For that is the place I get to constantly experience that child like wonder, innocence and curiosity.
I might not be able to turn back the hands of time, yet I can always experience my spirit within!
I would love to hear what has you experience curiosity, wonder and innocence. What is available to you when you show up like a student of life and all of it's mystery?
Drop me a line at email@example.com