Beauty Is Not Enough

 

Spring

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.

Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
April
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

It’s spring. Though it feels more like a distant cousin. A time of year in which we struggle to find our place during the uncertainty of seasons. When we throw off our jackets and listen to blue jays. Then huddle in our heavy coats and listen to howling winds. When we both turn our face to the sunshine and dance between raindrops.

It is that unpredictability we crave when the earth beneath our feet is frozen solid in winter or lush with summer greens. But the fickle springtime plays in quicksand, leaving us wishing for stability, making us wary.

Sometimes we see the roughness of the world around us, regardless of its softness and beauty. Sometimes in spite of it. And, sometimes, it just ceases to be enough.

In these moments, I take a deep breath and return to my OneWord for this year: “embrace”. I embrace the uncertainty, the rough edges of life, and only then am I able to embrace its beauty.

My random thoughts in 200 words or less.

(This has become an annual celebration of April coming in like an idiot, babbling, and strewing flowers. 3rd year I’ve seen this old post and thought “how fitting…” The uncertainty of spring mirrors life yet again.) 

Here’s to embracing the year as it unfolds. Happy Spring, gentle readers. 馃挌馃尶

You can read the entire poem here: Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay

My One Word for 2022 #OneWord2022


One Word pinecone

Over the holidays, I got a visit from…聽

The Posts of New Year’s Past: 馃懟 馃コ 馃帄 馃帀

One Word for 2021 was: Allow. This one was awesome. It worked SO well. I allowed ALL OF THE THINGS. I didn’t struggle, fight, flail, or falter. (My sarcasm didn’t translate well here. So, the only thing I allowed was badly-written sarcasm.)聽

One Word for 2020 was:聽Focus. Focus on one thing at a time to avoid overwhelm? Fab plan, lady. Alas…

One Word for 2019 was: Move. Getting unstuck was sort of the idea. I鈥檓 still stuck but heartily sorry for it and flailing for a helping hand out of the pit.

One Word for 2018 was: Self. It was a good choice. It worked. A little. Some of the time. Not as often as I’d hoped.

One Word for 2017 was Accept. I did not accept anything. I sort of UN-accepted pretty much everything. I faltered. Failed. Moved on.

Like Scrooge, I have learned from these visits and mean to change my ways. I struggled with a word for this year but, once it popped into my head, I knew it was the one. I thought about it a few more days but, still, it stayed with me. It felt right.聽

There are going to be a lot of changes and uncomfortable things happening this year. And here’s what I’m doing: I’m leaning into the discomfort in a big way. Embracing it.聽

My focus word for 2022:

EMBRACE

It’s a bit like the “accept” and “allow” but giving myself more of an active role.聽

Instead of just breathing (breathing is good, don’t get me wrong) and going with the flow (flowing is also good), I’m creating a situation where I must act in order to allow and accept.

As always, a definition (*nerd alert*):

embrace

[蓹m藞br膩s]

verb聽
  • hold…closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection
hug聽路聽take in one’s arms 路 hold 路 enfold 路 encircle 路 enclose
Challenges? Hardships? Change? I’ve got a hug for you here!
  • accept or support willingly and enthusiastically
welcome聽路聽accept聽路聽receive enthusiastically/wholeheartedly 路聽take to one’s heart聽路聽welcome/receive with open arms 路聽support聽
Upset? Uncertainty? Welcome! Have a cup of cocoa.
noun
  • an act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically.
welcome聽路聽welcoming聽路聽favorable reception 路聽embracing聽路聽approval聽路聽adoption聽路聽integration
Hey there, change. What’s up, uncertainty? Welcome to my humble life. Let’s have a glass of wine. 馃嵎

When these things I cannot control come along, I won’t fight them. It’s exhausting and doesn’t make them go away. I’m not doing a great job passively accepting or allowing them. So, I will take them in my metaphorical arms and embrace them.

It’s tough to welcome uncomfortable feelings and difficult situations but I’m hoping a more active role will help me with the whole accepting and allowing thing. I am choosing to DO something. You hear it a lot: “Embrace uncertainty.” “Embrace chaos.” “Embrace change.” And it sounds good in theory…let’s see if I can put that into practice.聽

Here’s my quote of 2022: “If you can’t control it, invite it in for a cuppa.”聽

Happy New Year, my friends. 馃挅 Here’s to your goals, aspirations, resolutions, or whatever floats your boat. Cheers! 馃

Have you ever taken part in the One Word Challenge?

If you haven’t, why not try it? Or think on it a moment and leave one in the comments. What could your focus be this year? I鈥檇 love to hear what your One Word is for 2022.