Friday, January 1, 2010

Cyclamen Joy

When i went to London one January, i was amazed to see cyclamen growing in window boxes. There i was, wearing my coat from the Pacific Northwest--a polar fleece jacket zipped into a Gortex shell, whilst red and white and pink cyclamen were expressing the joy of the season by being in full bloom.

This experience transformed the way i treat cyclamen. I now keep them in the coolest room in the house--the entry. I send them outdoors to flower on the front step in April. They stop blooming in June and endure the heat of summer hiding amongst my other house plants. But in September, when i bring everything else indoors, i return the cyclamens to the front step until warnings of a hard frost drive them indoors. The cool weather seems to re-energize them, and soon they are blooming again.

Like the cyclamen, i need to be physically cool while meditating. Otherwise, i start to doze off. When i sit, i take off my socks. I very seldom wear a meditation shawl because coziness dulls my mind.

If i want to be alert, i have to act like a cyclamen: knowing that coolness triggers flowering, i endure a shiver or two until joy energizes the body and warms it up.

Oh, i love those beautiful cyclamen.

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