Join our #gratitudeblooming project where we are exploring new ways to cultivate gratitude with a set of 36 cards of plant drawings. The cards are designed to help transform thoughts into action by giving us an invitation to reflect on and embody emotions connected to gratitude. Pick a card at random to receive a special message from the natural world (and share a photo with your card if you feel inspired!) Here is our pick for you this week:
24 healing (peony): Be aware that taking the time to heal yourself is an expression of gratitude for this one wild and precious life you've been given.
More about the drawing: The peony has such a variety of symbolism associated to it across cultures and regions. I am most familiar with stories connecting the flower to Paeon, healer to the Greek gods. But there is another story in Korean folklore that I had just discovered when I drew this image. It is about Miruk (force of creation) and Sokka (force of evil) who challenged each other to determine who time belongs to. In the challenge, the two would sleep in the same room and wake to see whose knee the peony would bloom. Miruk fell deeply asleep and the peony bloomed on his knee, but Sokka, feigning sleep with a thief's intention, stole the flower and placed it on his own knee. Because of the truth and the deceit, the peony blooms for only 10 days and the plant lives for only 10 years.
The story made me realize how much we all need healing -- including both Miruk and Sokka -- and that the healing requires T I M E (maybe even something like 10 years for the big stuff). Can we use the blooms of a peony to remind ourselves of the importance of making space in our lives for the kind of healing that may unfold slowly over the course of many years?