"A Single Flower"
- At the Desert Retreat House-
Yesterday, while having lunch at a local restaurant with our family and our baby grandson here visiting us, I noticed that whenever a waitress or folks at nearby table caught sight of our beautiful little baby boy with his big bright smile, their faces would break out into a joyous look that made it almost look like they were shining. I must admit that I am somewhat biased when it comes to our grandson, but he does have a type of an infectious smile that babies can often give you almost forcing you to smile back.
Yesterday It struck me how that one bright little smile from a little baby shining his light on the people in that restaurant was a sacred moment, a little miracle in an ordinary day, a “bright spot” in the lives of all the people who encountered him in a very ordinary place.
I used to think that a miracle was some kind of extraordinary supernatural occurrence, well out of the ordinary. Someone is cured of cancer and that’s a miracle, Jesus turns water into wine and that’s a miracle, Moses parts the Red Sea and that’s a miracle. I have now come to believe that miracles are far more than that.
As I see it, a miracle is a window into our everyday life that opens up allowing us to look into the “really real” world of our ordinary routine, showing us that we all live in a world of extraordinary beauty and wonder every minute of every day.
The sun rises in the desert skies - and that’s a miracle. Two friends embrace, enemies are reconciled - and that’s a miracle. An innocent child smiles with twinkling eyes and everyone’s face “lights up” - and that’s a miracle.
Every day we are surrounded by miracles if we are just awake enough to be aware of them.
I am remind of a wisdom saying attributed to the Buddha:
If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly,
our while life would change.
I find a profound truth in this one simple sentence. Over and over again I have discovered that, whenever I am roused out of my distractions in life and pay attention to the miraculous revelations of the moment, my life changes - always.
Yesterday, a few-second gaze of a sweet little child was like a little pebble thrown into a pond that ripples and ripples. An infectious little smile lit up the faces of those people in a restaurant and perhaps they, in turn, went out and were just a bit nicer and a bit more kind, perhaps a bit more “enlightened” than they otherwise might have been were it not for the miracle of a baby’s smile.
Our grandson is with us all week long- I wonder what other miracles he may have in store for us.
An ancient Zen master once said this of his everyday life:
When happy, I go alone into the mountains, such joy.
I walk until the water ends and sit waiting for the hour when the clouds rise.
If I happen to meet an old woodcutter, I chat with him,
laughing and lost to time.
Such a wonderful “miracle” story.