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At 1:15 A.M., I awoke with this lovely dream:

Sunshine swelled four yellow rosebuds atop a barren hill, still captive to freezing rains. Sandaled toddlers crouched around the plants, tentatively touched the petals, and giggled.

As I recorded the dream by my nightstand, deep smiles warmed my psyche—evidence, within, that all is well, despite increasing symptoms of my terminal illness, despite deepening global confusion over vaccines, masking, spread of disease.

Sunshine, always an empowerment of Truth, makes clear the imprecise, reveals hidden shit-abysses, and warms chilled fingers and toes. Under its influence, every cell flushes with total well-being; flagging energies perk up like blustery winds snapping sails of frigates.

The yellow color of the rosebuds suggests joy, illumination, dissemination, intuition, intellect, and magnanimity and further weights the image of the rosebuds with Sacred significance.

The four rosebuds also speak of quaternity or ultimate wholeness: it establishes an indelible presence to counter our politically divided world, the barren hill in the dream, tangled within social media—as does Dante’s White Rose symbolize the concentric spheres of The Paradiso (1320), among the fractious Guelph and Ghibelline parties in Italy.

And of course, toddlers, the lowly of heart of any age, are drawn to such play. They know how to pause and wonder, having found comparable images within.

Do You Want To Get Well Again? – John 5:7

Yet another question I pose to myself as I continue reflecting upon Jesus of Nazareth this Holy Week.

Those who received his healing touch or word or presence in first century Palestine remembered, his story committed to oral tradition that fired hearts—especially true of the man, afflicted thirty-eight years with crippling pain and inability to walk as narrated in John’s Gospel. Not only did he roll up his mat and walk, he was challenged to let go of his crankiness and serve others.

So what about this centuries-old invitation to wellness still offered by Jesus? What could have been his intent? Many with chronic pain and illness plea for respite, their drugs only dulling symptoms and educing brain fog. Hopelessness besmirches attitudes and outlooks. Suicide claims lives.

Like that peasant slouching near the pool at the Sheep Gate waiting for the water to move, I had prayed for joint healing, there being no effective medical or surgical treatment by rheumatologists and surgeons—and I was seen by the best wherever I lived. 

Somehow, I slogged on, until discovering AA meetings that jimmied open my psychic heart-crust, tasteless as burnt toast: within, maggots disguised as the seven deadly sins wiggled and tangled for space. Such disorder was and is amenable of removal through daily application of the Twelve Steps. Jesus says, as much, in his Sermon on the Mount. In my perception, that’s the deeper wellness Jesus intended for the cripple, and for me as I continue healing in my transition, one day at a time.

February is already slipping into its second week of colorlessness.

True, a splotch of red will play with Valentine’s Day but then recede into blandness, one that enervates imaginations, yet unleashes insatiable longing.

And winter’s ferocity still stings bare calves, still evokes watery eyes, still demands snow shovels—all bound to induce shivers like frosted prods piercing our psyches and forcing consciousness lest we perish. Life appears inhospitable, as we tear off our boots for the warmth of slippers and a cup of hot chocolate.

But is it inhospitable? For those acquainted with February’s lessons, there is much to learn: subtle colors in blandness, snow tracks of furry creatures, icy-wet fingers sluicing windows, silence on the roads, and most of all, critical moisture for root systems.

Such lessons also correlate with the psyche’s need for resting in the Sacred, a resting toward intimacy with the Heart of God, during contemplation or a solitary nature walk. Thus exposed, we cannot but be touched by intimacy and breathe anew and look for opportunities for service.

Such renewal sparks any season, even our own.

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