Bear Valley Trail is open, after being closed since the Woodward Fire last year. I’m going there later today. The dogwood out there made it through the fire, and is blooming. This mandala is in honor of rejuvenation, something plants do naturally.
When we moved back to Pt. Reyes in early 2014, it was winter. There was a huge photinia growing in the yard. It’s one of my least favorite plants, in spite of its’ red and green shiny leaves. It looks fake to me. There were deciduous trees on either side of it, and after living with them all for a while, it was clear that the photinia was bullying a Japanese maple and a dogwood. In fact, the dogwood looked dead, covered with lichen, not doing well. We took out the offending photinia, and could see big divots in the neighboring trees, where the photinia had dominated. Slowly, over the past 7 years, the dogwood has rejuvenated itself, with just a little pruning of lower branches that were truly dead. Instead of being all hunched over, the new growth is straight and upright. We provided conditions for it to thrive, and the tree took care of the rest. The leaves in this mandala are part of this rebirth.
We humans seem to have to work on rejuvenation — it doesn’t just happen with a few changes in the environment. The pandemic provided conditions for me to move in a different direction, though I had to take serendipity and direct it to a daily practice. The dogwood just had to be a dogwood. Some days I do feel rejuvenated in spirit, and a walk out Bear Valley Trail this morning will support that.