The Green Sees Me Through

The Green Sees Me Through

Written and photographed by Chris K., Vail Place Member

There are so many things going through my mind recently. I feel afraid a lot – about what will happen to our country, about healing racism/folks who have been harmed by racism, about COVID-19. And as a queer/trans person with physical and mental health challenges – I feel afraid about losing my healthcare, as well.

It’s a lot. All of us, we are experiencing so much.

And – as always – green is seeing me through. As I walk through my neighborhood, and through life, I keep noticing the things that are humming with aliveness – right in front of me. Thank goodness for noticing. Thank goodness for the summer – the season we drink in the sun and experience the lushness of all that is blooming and vibrant.

I am trying to continue to come back to this question I have heard again and again by groups of wise, recovering people: How’s your now?? Well, when I’m outside taking walks, most of the time I can say my now is manageable. Also, it is sometimes beautiful, even if I’m having difficult feelings.

Right here is where I am. Here is a robust, pink gladiola. Here is the sky – blue with pockets of soft, white clouds. Here I can feel a warm, tender wind on my face. Here are hostas and lilies and roses and tiny tomatoes sprouting on vines, like jewels. Right now, green is everywhere.

I really believe if we are focusing on the past a lot, or are planning for the worst possible outcome for our futures – we suffer. But if we can breathe in this moment, maybe things could feel okay. Or, if our now is hard (which seems to be so often these days), maybe being present can help us to at least tend to our pain in a gentle, mindful way.

We are worthy, friends, of presence. We have been made to experience and embrace our lives. What I am suggesting is not easy (at least not for me) – so please, just consider this a compassionate invitation: If we are happy, maybe we can all take pause to notice. If we are sad or angry, perhaps we can breathe into these feelings and breathe out love. Lastly, perhaps we can try not to forget the green – always there this season, waiting for us to see and be held by it.

What are ways in which you notice your own life and/or life around you?