One of my favorite books is, The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur.
If you have not read it, I highly recommend it. The book is divided into five sections reflecting the life cycle of a flower, with chapters titled: Wilting, Falling, Rooting, Rising, and Blooming.
It focuses on themes of love and loss, trauma and abuse, and healing.
What I love about this book is that while Rupi is telling the story, it really gives you the ability to reflect on your own personal relationships and self-love and create your own perspective of each poem.
In this blog, I want to share a few of my favorite poems and my perspective and how it relates to Fleece and Thank You. I also encourage you to read these poems and reflect on what they mean to you!
“of course I want to be successful
but i don’t crave success for me
I need to be successful to gain
enough milk and honey
to help those around
This poem is actually from Rupi’s first book, Milk and Honey, but I love this one! As someone who works in the nonprofit space, it’s my mindset to give and serve others before myself.
This poem teaches me that while success is something everyone strives for, your successes are only as great as others’ successes. When Rupi mentions she needs to gain enough milk and honey, she’s really hitting at the point of helping others strive for success.
What’s more fulfilling than using your successes to help others? Because of this, I continue striving to gain enough milk and honey to help the people around me. At Fleece and Thank you, we exist to serve! From the perspective of Rupi, by providing fleece blankets with a video message, we strive to help kids feel supported and hopefully they too can succeed and beat their illness.
And now for the next epic poem from Rupi.
on the sacrifices
of a million women before me
what can i do
to make this mountain taller
so the women after me
can see farther
Legacy. What a powerful word. Everyone wants to build a legacy and be remembered!
Some legacies are more noticed than others. Think about Ellen Degeneres, she is an absolute incredible human and has built up the greatest legacy by serving others. BUT, I believe everyone has their own unique legacy and you don’t need to be famous or popular to prove it.
When I read this poem, I think it does a great job at breaking down what it means to have a legacy. “What can I do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther.”
To me, that could be as simple as calling up a friend you haven’t talked to in a while, or taking care of a loved one when they’re sick. You don’t need to give away a million dollars to give, you just need COMPASSION.
When I think about Fleece and Thank You, one of the things that’s so meaningful to be a part of this organization is our ability to include others as we give back. Giving the opportunity for the blanket maker and blanket recipient to connect is the mountain Fleece and Thank You is building.
I love that it touches more on what impact I can make to lift others rather than how I can be noticed. Fleece and Thank You does not get the recognition of personally making the blanket, the individual blanket maker does, and I’m so glad we can give people that opportunity.
It’s more important to build a mountain up for everyone else instead of building up a mountain for yourself. That to me, is the true meaning of legacy.
And here is another great one!
“when it came to listening
my mother taught me silence
if you are drowning their voice with yours
how will you hear them she asked
when it came to speaking
she said do it with commitment
every word you say
is your own responsibility
when it came to being
she said be tender and tough at once
you need to be vulnerable to live fully
but rough enough to survive it all
when it came to choosing
she asked me to be thankful
for the choices i had that
she never had the privilege of making
– lessons from mumma”
This poem is a little longer and has a bit more to uncover, but it’s my absolute favorite. It’s all about how to treat others and never to take advantage of the life you’re living.
My main takeaways from this poem are to listen not only to respond but to hear, speak with kind words and truth, live life being vulnerable and without fear, and always be thankful.
What hit me the most in this poem was, “be thankful for the choices I had that she never had the privilege of making.”
Working at Fleece and Thank You, we practice gratitude every single day. When I relate this portion of the poem to myself and FTY, I can’t help but imagine the kids stuck in hospital rooms with so much uncertainty and fear.
There are many choices they don’t have the privilege to make. They also don’t get to choose to be sick; they don’t get to choose to not see friends and family; they don’t get to choose to miss school.
Can you imagine? It certainly makes me think of all the things I am grateful for. I’m grateful that I do have choices I get to make and I’m grateful that one of those choices is to serve others.
There’s so much more to unpack in The Sun and Her Flowers. If you have the time, read the book and reflect on what these poems mean to you. I promise you’ll see life in a new perspective.
What are you grateful for?
What is your legacy?
How are you serving others with your successes?
“this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as I wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
in order to bloom”