As late spring roles into early summer here at the cabin, emerald green unfurls all around us cued by the warming sun. As it happens, my attention keeps being drawn to the Bittersweet. Bittersweet is a viny climber, but it can't climb alone. It requires the assistance of partner plants to reach upwards. This partnership is, however, one sided. The Bittersweet doesn't give back to these partner plants. In fact Bittersweet will grow and grow, clinging tighter and tighter to the partner plants as they, too, attempt to grow. Eventually, the partner plant will die, strangled by Bittersweet's grasp. Curiously, when this happens the partner plats collapse, and Bittersweet falls back to the ground.
I wondered, is Bittersweet teaching me about relationships where there is not true partnership? Where one person grows at the expense of another? Or perhaps about the choices I can make about who I choose to spend my time with, that sometimes I am taking or giving in ways that aren't reciprocal? Or is she teaching me about a balance of Nature that exists beyond my ability to perceive; a balance that has a larger arch than I am conscious of? Then it occurs to me. Maybe Bittersweet is reminding me that sometimes the most import lessons aren't in the answers I get, but the questions I begin to ask. Today, I will be paying attention to the questions that arise from the teachers I encounter. Thank you Bittersweet.