I often stand at the foot of my bed in prayerful meditation from where I can view the heart bush. I fondly referred to it as the heart bush because, from the vantage point of my north-facing, second-story bedroom window, the bush formed two distinct sides of a heart's shape with a bit of an opening in the middle. After some years, a bit of a bit of fringe began to appear out of the center of the bush. Still, it made me smile to think of it as a heart. "Probably just some weeds," I thought. They liked to wave in the wind at me.


A couple of years ago, while on a walk, my husband and I examined the bush and discovered that some saplings were attempting to grow up amid the tangled and entwined branches of the bush. We brought out some clippers and removed what we could to help protect the heart bush, but one near the center could not be removed. I now knew that "fringe" wasn't weeds at all.

A couple of weeks ago, the township went around and trimmed all the trees. I heard them outside my window and looked out to see them working around my beloved heart bush. When they left, to my shock, they had removed the bush and left instead the once sampling, now grown into a full-standing tree.Winter Queen DP 331470778 XL

Surely this bush was an allegory, but found I could look at it in two very different ways.

My first thought was how our heart is, or should be, our ruling entity. It is the leading core of our spiritual self, leading us forward toward who we were meant to be. While I fondly admired this bush (the way we often like to tout our dreams) I did little to help it thrive. The bush (like our heart's desires) should have been better tended to, regularly weeded, trimmed, and fed.

Instead, the bush was left to its own devices where it eventually began to die and had to be removed. Is this how we treat our core desires from within, hoping they will thrive on their own without offering them the fuel they need to bring them forth? Are we letting them be taken over by the whims of others? Are we allowing them to die unfulfilled? Bush 2

And yet, we can turn this around to show how this bush (our heart) held within a secret. And deeply entwined where not even our lack of attention could snuff it out, it continued to grow, at first totally hidden and kept from the direct sun and harshness of the winter, then gradually showing itself, waving to us, reminding us that it was there, and, eventually, rising to its fullness, growing into something far greater than we might have ever dreamed. We all know that this tree will grow taller, stronger, and larger than the bush ever could. Yet, the bush (our heart) gave its all to give it birth where this lingering desire might have otherwise been mowed down or trampled beneath uncaring feet.

Which allegory describes your heart's desires? Are you caring for them? Feeding them? Helping them grow? Or have they been left to their own devices? Yet, they remain for you to discover and to become as large as you will allow.