Monday, November 18, 2013

A Single Flower

My Garden

At various times I have come across an often-quoted wisdom saying of the Buddha:

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly,
our whole life would change.

The truth is that, as often as I had seen this quote, I only sort of understood what it meant. But then again, that's the beauty of wisdom sayings like this. You only sort of understand them, and they seem to have a way of gradually unfolding their meaning as you live your life's experiences. 

Yesterday, I witnessed a living example of the "miracle of a single flower" and I think I finally got a bit closer to understanding what it might mean. 

On Sunday my wife and I ritualisticaly go into the little village near our home, where we walk through the "Farmer's Market" in the town square, and do some "people watching" as we sit at the outdoor tables of the popular little coffee house in the center of town. 

Yesterday, at the table next to us, a grandpa sat with his little grand baby on his lap.  The baby was all dressed in pink and a tiny little flower was placed in a ribbon on her head. She was perhaps the most jovial baby I had ever seen. She had such an incredibly expressive face - laughing, smiling, gurgling. When you saw her, you couldn't help but smile also. 

But it wasn't just the baby that caught my attention. Her grandpa looked like he had just won the lottery. As he held his beautiful baby girl, rocking her to and fro on his lap, his face was literally beaming with delight. 

That baby and her grandpa were lighting up that one little corner of the space in which they were sitting, and they were like magnets drawing people to them. 

As the many stern-faced passersby on the street would notice that flower-adorned baby and her beaming grandfather, they would stop in their tracks and their stone faces would instantly melt into expressions of unrestrained delight. That baby and her grandpa actually created something of a mini-traffc jam because it was virtually impossible for people walking by not to stop and offer a little greeting or a wave.  

It was a perfect illustration of the "miracle of one single flower" changing the lives of anyone who took it all in.

As I sat and delighted in that scene on the coffee house sidewalk, I pictured a pebble thrown into a pond -rippling out over the surface, touching not just where the pebble landed but brushing across the entire pool of water. 

I thought to myself, this "miracle of the single flower" isn't just confined to this little space in time - a sidewalk cafe in a tiny little corner of the world. 

I could feel the energy, the love, the light of that beaming baby and her grandpa rippling out - out into the the lives of everyone who stopped and stepped into the light they were giving off. I thought of how those who stopped would then take that light out into the lives of others who they would meet, and the ripple of light would go on and on.  

Ultimately, the light of a tiny, happy baby with a flower in her hair and her beaming grandpa was rippling out onto the whole world, making it a more beautiful place, forever changing lives. It was indeed a miracle. 

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly,
our whole life would change.

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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful , such imagery , that light has just shone further