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The Valley of Roses
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I have journeyed to the Valley of the Roses at different times. Usually we travel to the Rose Valley when the roses bloom, thus our journey is replete with illustrious vision of the roses in their majesty. We see the blossoms, we smell the fragrance and if we allow for it, we are transported to one of the doors into heaven through this natural beauty. Yet, as I have written above, I have traveled at other times too. I have traveled in the Spring at the moment when the buds were all ready but not open yet. In this moment it is easy to see the potential and usually if we look carefully we can see a rose that is beginning to unfold its beauty. I have traveled in the earlier Spring when the leaves were just beginning and the buds were nowhere near unfolding. Looking across the valley I could see that in a matter of weeks or months the valley would be a tapestry of color, yet perhaps the most spiritual time to visit the valley of the roses is in the winter, when all we can see are the thorns. In this time, it is up to us to apply our imagination in knowing faith that these thorny shrubs will one day yield a harvest of great beauty that can easily transport us to that door of heaven. It is this moment in which we can be transported in perhaps the deepest way, because though we do not have the accouterments of the roses upon the bushes, when our faith is so deep that we see the vision of the coming bounty, then we can transmute this moment to other moments in our lives when we have been confronted with situations that seemed hard, or challenging, like these thorny bushes that for the moment lack the majesty which when in full bloom so easily takes us to one of the doors of heaven. It is through this understanding that we can find the faith within that we are all upon a spiritual journey and that even in the midst of thorns we can see the blooming of spiritual beauty and know that though the harvest of roses sleeps in the "winter of our discontent", there will come a Spring that will awaken the beauty within. Everything has its season and in each situation though it may appear simply thorny and harsh, there is a beauty that will awaken from it. Thus wisely in these moments we plant the seeds of joy with thoughts of the deepest beauty that can be, knowing that the seeds we plant will yield the harvest of its kind. In this way we plant a garden in every situation that will one day take root and bring about the good that was inherent in the valley of the roses in Winter. ~MySpiritualFriend

As we are confronted with events in the world such as India/Pakistan or Israel/Palestine, or with situations in our lives that appear to be pure thorns, let us look upon these situations and gather strength and courage within and using our powerful minds and hearts, together in prayer and actions rooted in positive intent focus upon peaceful resolution so that all children everywhere may know kindness and be free from hunger and fear. Let us be wise and plant thoughts of kindness and water those thoughts with acts of goodness and love.

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