Heart & Mind - May 2018 - Dr. Lou Yock
Heart and Mind - Dr. Lou Yock
Celebrating the Flower Communion is one of my favorite services. Rooted in Unitarian Universalist History, a little bit Bohemian, very idealistic, and fully participatory, it is striking how such a simple act as placing a flower in an arrangement creates such a potent symbol for us. It so readily and strikingly reminds us how disparate colors, shapes, sizes, and negative spaces, kind of randomly, but kind of planned, join together into a harmonious whole.
Throughout the year I make sure to reference in my mind the thing of beauty we create during our Flower Communion, and I know others sometimes refer to the lessons we draw for the metaphor. Our church, like our communal bouquet, draws from many backgrounds, traditions, expectations, and ideals, as expressed in the variety of flowers we choose to place in our bouquet.
Another aspect of the symbolism that I so appreciate is the temporary nature of our bouquet. Our bouquet is not unlike a Buddhist Mandala, those colorful and highly decorative sand drawings that take many hours to finish, which are then swept away soon after they are completed. We, in less time than Buddhist monks, complete our bouquet, but by the end of the service, we disassemble it as we select our flowers to take with us. Each time we come together, as a worship service, a meeting, an event, or socially, we are recreating our bouquet, and as we leave, we are taking the contributions and interactions we had with one another, much as we take another’s flower from the bouquet. A piece of us always goes with those we encounter.
May our encounters with one another be like our coming together when we create the Flower Communion bouquet. May our distance contribution be seen as a thing of beauty, one that others can take with them.