I stood looking out the kitchen window whilst making breakfast this morning. The agave plant in our front garden was sprouting a colossal shoot from its centre. The stalk, threatening to burst into bloom is communicating the impending completion of its life.
Flipping my buttery pancakes, I mused the irony given the time of year and the new beginnings within my own life. I also reflected on recent conversations about the gap the dying agave would leave in the rock garden. How would we fill the huge space it will leave behind? Can we prevent it from dying by cutting away the flowering stem so that it can use what energy it has to continue living?
Facing the Inevitable
When we face endings within our own lives, how often do we hash over these very same questions? The thing is, death is a very natural part of life.
Change is inevitable, and with change there is growth as well as creation. To cut away the giant triffid’s flowering stalk would rob her of a huge part of her life. She has lived for this moment. To deny her this beautiful ending in order to extend her existence would be selfish.
She is not leaving behind emptiness. Beneath her spiky thick fleshy leaves, her babies have been growing healthily, awaiting their turn in the sunlight.
Filling the Void
It occurs to me that Mother Nature doesn’t want us to mourn the completion of the agave’s lifecycle. She wants us to marvel at its glorious final work and to remember this plant for that crescendo. And in her wake, the agave leaves new beginnings full of hope and life.
Each and every day, Mother Nature implores us to consider newness, possibility and creation. Just as the ocean’s waves retreat and then crash on the shore around our ankles, new beginnings are brought to us. We can deny it in our minds and close our hearts to the possibilities for fear of losing what we love. However, new beginnings continue to orbit around us organically. In any case, we can’t lose love when it resides in our hearts. Love is with us for life.
New opportunities introduce us to the possibility for connection that resonates with us perfectly. To allow flow promotes harmony and ease.
To suppress a new beginning for fear of losing the old, in essence, is like chopping down the blooming stalk of the agave plant before its full potential and joy has been experienced.
So, the next time you are standing on the precipice of new beginnings, with the old and familiar about to fall away, remember the wonderful agave plant.
Feature photos courtesy of Me (Anne McCormack)