“Perhaps it’s because April is so full of dazzling sunlight. Perhaps it’s because the earth seems greener. Perhaps it’s because resurrection is this month’s signature. Is this why our spirits start to soar? Now the season of darkness diminishes as the season of Light increases in strength. In the garden, primroses, pansies, violets, tulips, and lilacs burst with color. Each flower, plant, and bough bears profound witness to the power of authenticity. This month we continue to grow gracefully, creatively, and joyously into our authentic selves, awakening to our own beauty.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach ‘Simple Abundance’
“Remind yourself what it’s like to have fun on All Fool’s Day. Surprise your loved ones and co-workers with whimsy. . . not practical jokes that embarrass. Instead, devise comical, absurd, and amazing surprises. At home, turn everything topsy-turvy: serve bagel, pita, or English muffin pizzas for breakfast. And pancakes or waffles for supper. After school tell them you’ve got to take them to a doctor or dentist appointment and then head for the ice cream parlor.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach ‘Simple Abundance’
A warm thank you today to the wise and creative writer Sarah Ban Breathnach. Her writings shared in celebration of April help bring me to the computer with encouragement to copy them out here.
Copying. Plagiarizing. These are generally unpleasant and emotion-filled words. However I am reminded of an important childhood memory, at the tender age of seven, when I spent two weeks camping in a trailer with my mom and creating some of the best memories her and I made together. I enjoyed swimming daily at the campground’s outdoor pool. . . splashing around like a frog, pretending I was a dolphin. One day, upon waking earlier than usual, I felt inspired to go hold my nose and jump in again. Away I ran barefoot through the early morning sunlight, clad in my little girl’s one-piece with towel in hand. It was exciting to be there earlier than usual… it was so quiet! The doors were unlocked and I walked through the empty showers to the pool area.
There were people at the other end that I paid no mind to as I dropped my towel, held my nose and bombed into the deep end of the pool to joyfully splash and scramble with terrifying excitement to clutch the side of the pool. I swam around a bit before noticing that I was being called over. The grown-up of the group at the other end of the pool was asking if I was part of the lesson? No? I had no idea what he was talking about? At last I understood what he was saying: Terribly sorry but the pool is closed and you’ll have to leave.
I remember feeling embarrassed for a couple of moments, but also curious. What were they learning? What else was there to know about swimming other than jumping in and dashing to the side to bravely survive not-drowning? I clutched my towel around me and walked around to the outside of the chain-link fence. I watched. I listened to what the instructor was telling everyone. And it made sense. No one had ever told me that before. I stood there, getting a lesson without ever signing up, by watching and soaking it in. I became a much stronger swimmer that day. Less clumsy frog-like movements and smoother dolphin-like movements (in my mind anyways). I began to understand the concept of holding my breath better, and practiced all I’d seen once the pool opened for everyone at 9am.
I feel a similar rush of copied excitement this morning. Lately I’ve ‘fallen off the horse’ of writing regularly. Feeling inspired to copy out and share Ms. Breathnach’s writings is like a gentle ‘leg up’. I feel encouraged by typing what she wrote years ago, wisdom that’s inspired me for years and does again this morning. It feels like newness. And growth. And spring!
Copying others isn’t always a bad thing. Copying others and saying it was our own idea is terribly uncool and creates bad karma. But copying others and sharing who it’s from and being thankful for the inspiration is completely different. We all feel honored when we can inspire another. Imitation is the finest form of flattery. Thanks Sarah… for helping me to get back up on that horse!