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A conversation with begonias

Published by Susan Gillis Chapman on

  Yesterday I was sitting on my patio, listening to the sound track of Winged Migration and sipping a beer when the begonias caught my eye. They spoke to me in all the languages I know– it felt like I could hear, taste and touch at them all at once.  They filled me with such joy that I had no choice but to pull out my paint brushes and a canvas and continue the conversation.

First I went wild with the greens in the background, sharing with my begonias a story about the back-lit trees I’d seen at the park earlier in the day.  Then, like a Pas de Deux, my brush began to curl around the canvas guided by the flower petals. They emerged miraculously, as flowers do. I had no idea at the time that the colors would match so perfectly– because there were no thoughts in this communication. It was like making love.

This is what I call the gift of Awake Body: that we human beings have five senses that communicate so intimately and joyously with the world around us. Every moment of experience is an invitation.  Life’s burdens can feel unbearable at times but every now and then a shaft of sunlight through the clouds, the song of a sparrow or the soft surprise of a cat landing in your lap can be the starting point of a new kind of conversation.  Letting go into this gap you never know what will happen next.  And that restoration of trust and innocence can be the best gift of all.


Susan Gillis Chapman

teaches part time for Green Zone Institute and for Karuna Training. Susan is a retired Marital and Family therapist who has been practicing mindfulness meditation for over 35 years.  She is the author of the book The Five Keys To Mindful Communication and a contributor to The Mindful Revolution, edited by Barry Boyce. Her website is: http://www.susangillischapman.com. Read more about Susan here.