For the last couple of weeks my Nana has been around. It’s not to say that she doesn’t come and go but quite often she will just come and sit beside me and just talk. One thing I particularly remember about my Nana’s garden is the pansies. They were all different colours, purples, yellows, bold browns and yellows and their particularly happy faces. Nana always turns up with pansies, or sends people with pansies when I am sad. Always when I am baking, since most of the recipes I use were hers as well, and I always laugh when she reminds me of amounts and ingredients I need to use, I used to love being at her house and baking.
When I was little, about 5 years old, I used to think that pansies were people, and I would do a peculiar thing with them. I would pick them and bury them in the sandpit, and then I would patiently wait a day, and then dig them up again. Ever disappointed that they were not “perfect” after being reborn. It always seemed to me that the colours here on the earth plane were so dim and the “flowers” unhappy, perhaps by being “reborn” the “pansies” would be happier. I understand a lot more now that people choose their lives and they don’t need to be reborn “perfect”, they are perfect, in every way and within that perfection they are having a human journey of experience.
I let the last of the baby rabbits go yesterday, the wild ones we had been nurturing and feeding kitten milk. As I walked back across the paddock with my youngest, my Nana appeared, carrying purple pansies. She smiled and I smiled back again. My youngest asked me, “What if we did the wrong thing letting the last one go, he was just a baby, what happens if he doesn’t make it?”. Nana smiled at him gently, and I ruffle his hair.
“It’s like this. Everything is an experience. If we hadn’t given him a second chance, all of them, a second chance, they wouldn’t have survived the night. This way we have given him enough milk and nurturing, he is eating grass, the others have gone too now (they let themselves out a small hole in the run in the back garden), he has been given a chance, an experience. He got to touch our lives for a moment and we got to touch his, that’s a really special thing. But he needs his journey, as much as we need ours as well”.
My youngest shuffles through the paddock “I suppose so”. He runs in front of me and I meander back with Nana. “Did I do the right thing? Nana? Feeding them, rather than letting them die? It’s a hard life for a wild rabbit”. She smiles and offers me a pansy, white with a purple smile. I smile I can smell the subtle smell of them.
“Jacqueline, it’s a hard life fully stop. Sometimes you just got to stop and pick the pansies and appreciate the small things. You did the right thing for whatever your reasons were. Giving something a chance, or a chance to grow by your own experiences, gives you the opportunity to grow as well”. I stop walking and immediately I am not here any more. I am in the middle of a paddock of pansies, their faces all turn up and all different colours surround me. Nana laughs, and her whole face lights up. She radiates this amazing presence of love. It’s hard to explain, she was a beautiful, kind, gentle, loving lady when she was living and all of these blessed qualities are so “amplified” in the off worlds. Serenity in a smile, as warm as the embrace of an old friend missing for years.
“It’s beautiful” I breathe. Vaguely I can hear the boys in the distance heading back to the house but I am in this amazing field of pansies. Their faces look up at the sky adoringly and I want to stoop to pick them all. Nana laughs and hands me a purple one from the ones in her hands. “Don’t pick them” she says “Just enjoy them for the moment. For like each of us, the pansies are having their own journey and like the rabbits that you gave another chance to, they are having their journey”. I smile, “remember when I thought they were people, with their earnest faces, so wanting things to be perfect and so open with their beaming smiles to the sun? but I wanted them to be perfect”
She laughed “Yes, I do. People aren’t perfect, they are not meant to be but like the pansies here they need all the experiences they can have for them to grow to their full potential. There is no right or no wrong, just an experience and in that experience, that is the reward of living. The growth of self and the understanding that no matter what the colour, what the growing, that all of you, are in the same space, the same garden, living and growing together. No one person’s journey is more important, or less important. It it their’s completely and uniquely. You need to honour that with kindness and understanding”.
I nod and she again offers me a small purple pansy. “Nana! you told me not to pick them but you have a handful!” She laughs again “These are special, look closely”. I look at the two purple pansies in my hands and I see that one has the richness of purples and the other is lightly, slightly toned purple with tiny stripes of blue. One seems to be smiling and the other seems so sad. “Oh, I thought they were the same at first glance”.
She smiles serenely. “Always give another chance and always look more closely at what you think is there. You may well find with the people who you think you know the most, or behave in the oddest of ways, that they need more love, more consideration and more time than what you first thought. People are more like pansies than you think, they hide their true feelings, they nod in the winds of life and try all they can to hold onto the ground they think they need to, they don’t like the wind in their face, or being hammered with rain. Sometimes you need to be the umbrella, and other times you need to be the wind and the rain. But beyond that never, never forget to love them, with compassion and kindness for they will have forgotten in their pain to love themselves as well”.
I listen to her words, this wonderful woman who was such a part of my life and I thought about this as well. It’s easy to love the people in our lives that are loveable. That’s easy, for it makes things very easy for ourselves. We can hide our faces from the wind and the rain, and just think it’s all sunshine. But wind and rain happen, we have bad days and badder days at times. It’s hard to love difficult people in our lives, they bring out all sorts of emotions, angers and frustrations at times in ourselves and we can be intolerant to their needs as well.
What we need to understand is beyond all of this “perception” of this life we are having, we ARE all in this together and while someone may not respond in the manner that you wish or you want them to. They are also having their good day/bad day journey as well. Learning about themselves and learning about the rest of the people in the world. We need each other to do this.
I turn in the paddock as I hear the boys calling me and the pansies start to fade, I am left hold two small purple pansies that are caught on the wind and then they are gone, a small rabbit hops away in the distance and the echoes of words from my Nana, gently sound in my ear.
“Love massively, forgive massively, give chances where people wouldn’t give chances, but never, never lose sight of the fact that EVERYONE needs to be loved, to be cherished and to be reminded through rain and wind, sunshine and good days, that you are all in this together”.
I look towards the house and see the boys laughing on the lawn, look to the blue sky above me and smile. “Thanks Nana, for the reminder, and for picking pansies with me”.