We have two lines of prayer flags hanging over our back deck.
Prayer flags have many different purposes, including blessing the surrounding areas and providing good fortune (including for "all sentient beings").
I am certainly not an expert on the meaning behind prayer flags. I was given one strand by a friend and purchased the other strand at a local Tibetan shop. I once tried to research the meaning of all of the symbols on and colors of the flags, but got lost in logical over-analysis. I decided to leave it at this: I find them beautiful.
In observing them every morning, afternoon, and evening through our kitchen window, I've also learned a purpose or two of "sacred objects".
Such objects, while they are just material things, provide a symbolic connection to the meaning given to those objects. They invite us into an experience, remind us of "something more", and offer us a visual (sensual) reminder of right here, right now.
These prayer flags are impermanent. They are fraying, delicate, and have been through countless storms and varying degrees of weather. They've been tangled and frozen.
I find my love for them in their worn condition.
They wear openly the stories of the times they've been through.
They are faded from the brilliant sunny days where the kids and I went from park to park; they are earth-colored from one particularly heavy storm that brought dirt and leaves in a dance with the flags. They are frayed on every edge from where a gentle warm or bitterly cold wind has taken yet one more strand and carried it off on some whimsical journey.
Our "baggage", our wrinkles, our fears and our faults prove we are worn. This body, like the flags, are impermanent. Someday we too will return to the wind.
That mended heart and those scars are our stories. There is no need to cling to them nor to try and shed ourselves of them before it is time. We will change. We are changing. We weather what comes and wear the marks of those experiences.
And I think those marks are beautiful.
Be with those experiences before the threads are unraveled - celebrate the time you have to fly in the breeze. That storm blowing in is just another experience to be had.
These are what my flags whisper to me as I glance out the window. I rinse my glass and continue on my path.