Fleeting opportunities

The Royal Empress tree that resides outside my window graces us yearly with a few weeks of beautiful purple bell flowers. They are now falling one by one and the leaves are beginning to turn the purple landscape greener every day. I find each year this tree encourages me to appreciate the short breath of a blossom and their fleeting presence.

Fleeting implies that the coming and going happens so quickly that to grasp its meaning proves difficult.

Inner revelations are similar to the Spring blossom in that they can captivate us and inspire us– and they are equally evanescent.  These kinds of insights are called pure Grace, a flashing forth of deep truth. We all experience such insight, but to be sure we truly perceive the depth of beauty and implication requires presence and an inner space for them to resound. So often these wonderful moments fizzle out, soon to be forgotten on the roller coaster ride of the highs and lows. Our gratitude wells up and we feel satisfied, but perhaps that is as short lived as the next. For such an impression to have lasting impact is a practice.

The idea is not that we should try to, or even could, prolong the ephemeral. Past a certain extent grasping at them misses the point. Their brevity is clearly intrinsic to their power and their purpose to wake us up, to suggest that we do stop and smell the flowers. But we can also acknowledge them only peripherally, or sometimes we are so invested otherwise, or overwhelmed, we pass them by completely. We are the ones that have to show up– to pause, to welcome in, and as in the purest and most successful of relations, to be changed forever and for the better.

When we do, something takes hold. Like in the second stage of growth, the tree produces leaves with great staying power. There is a Hindu word- dhani- that means the fresh strength of new Spring grass, the confidence and courage innate in what does take root. As I watch the unfurling of new leaves and the heartiness of their ultimate shape and reach, I feel confirmed that it is up to me what I chose to welcome in and thus bring forth. And I refresh my resolve to attune myself to the presence of Grace, even when it is hidden in the thorns, as this is what I want to extend to those around me– the fragrance of what is ultimately transitory and yet is the essence of how we connect to each moment. May this continue to root me in enduring love and provide as a shelter to take refuge under when the rains thrash and the sun scorches hot.

I send my blessings to you, and salute your courage and commitment to create trees of health and well-being for yourself and for those you love. And then let’s not stop there, but consciously commit to grow the tree that serves all of humanity.


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