Every day, Life brings us Small Things to celebrate.
These are the things that save us. Uplift us. Remind us. Nurture and Nourish us.
These small things are not small – indeed – but are truly significant pieces of the Puzzle of Life. Significant, in that they have the capability to pull us into the magic of NOW. This is the Kingdom that small children inhabit. This is the origin of Play, Mystery, Delight, Dance and all spontaneity. This is the quality that we – as adults – long for, strive for, emulate, imitate, and gravitate ~ towards.
It’s simply a small fragmented mirror, mirroring a small, fragmented piece of who we truly are.
Today, I wandered into Queens Park, after a day of difficulties, compromises, bad news and severe struggles. Queens Park – one of the redeeming aspects of Life in New Westminster – has a beautiful little Rose Garden. Bless the foresight of the City Council, that preserves some quality places for the senses of the Weary to Unwind and resuscitate.
I have seen these Roses through only a few glimpses of their fleeting Life Cycle. (“It seems just yesterday that … “). We went there only a few mornings ago, to do some improv dance & video work among these flaming wonders. It was a mixed morning: the magic of fresh rain on the flowers, but a grand-central-station of gardeners, earth-moving equipment and curious tourists, sniffing and inspecting every nook. Already, the roses, bathed in teardrops, were beginning to show their mortality.
And now, this was evening. A tentative summer’s evening in a Tentative Summer, period. The Failing Light of July’s uncertain sky, illuminating these Gracious Old Ladies with a soft – sometimes unworldly – cast.
We need to say something about Roses here, in that Roses are uniquely Roses: nothing else comes close, nothing else matches, nothing can compare, all else in the Flower Kingdom is a mere squeak, alongside this noble Orchestra of Grace and Elegance.
Old Ladies, Queens, Queen Mothers, Sages, Crones, Witches, Whores, Ladies of the Night, the Day, the Evening – and all hours in between. These flowers are the undiluted voice of the Divine, laughing, tempting, seducing, healing, calming: both calling and answering the unspoken longings of our deepest hearts.
And so we age.
Our spots also appear. Our leaves curl in places that are straight. Freckles, dimples, warts, crinkles wrinkles and wrappers: all seem a noble, unpretentious part of the gallant display of these Girls-Who-Never-Went-Astray, these denizens of the Courtyard of Kings. These valiant musicians of the Unspoken Song; they were right all along. Beauty sees itself in the mirror and it sees perfection and imperfection walking side-by-side. The child in the Grandmother’s hand, dancing wildly through the disappearing land.
And so, it’s amazing how time flies. You just planted them Yesterday.
Buds in the Morning.
Blooming at Noon.
Fragrance in the dusk.
And the next day: Age looks itself in the mirror, surprised, sad, nostalgic, reflective, sober.
We’re stopped dead in our tracks: the Reality Check of Time. Mortality. The Ticking Clock. All the things we Should Have Done, Could Have Done, and ‘will do’. The pleadings of Tomorrow, the Begging Dogs of Yesterday. The whining uncertainty of the most certain thing you hold in your hand: the breath of life, sustaining you in the moment. Your tricks are over; your hiding places are gone. You are back in the uncomfortable, but oh-so-familiar cradle of this moment of NOW.
AND you feel strangely at Peace. Old Rose that you are.
There is no admission fee. Who can charge for the sight, sound and smell that is a Gift from the Unseen Hand?
Beauty. You can’t spell it, but you can Smell it. Your tired and feeble mind shuts up at last, because it has no say in this world of sensuous delight. You want to go to bed with these Total Strangers, you want to Drink, eat this Madness. sink into and Drown in some reservoir of forgotten delight, this Naughty and Lost Child inside, this Insecure Adult, wrapped in his profound and pointless mysteries of Money, Privilege and Fame.
And the Petals fall like Rain.
And no, they will not wait. Tomorrow morning, they will be gone. Dead, buried. The Gardener’s knife will mid-wife another birth, another life, and the Garden will go on, long after you Stop. Pick up a few petals, note the angle of the Moon. The deep Emerald of the lawns, the singing of the Sprinklers, the Empty beds, promising Future Lovers their lost Eternities.
All this, from a few Old Roses.
Oh, what we know … and what we have Forgotten.
And so, Life Goes On.
Day at at time. Breath at at time. Flower at a time. One Petal Falls. No one notices, no one cares. Drowning in Rain, drowning in Tears. No one really knows us; these visitors, these stodgy tourists – they get so close and yet they are so far away.
They capture us with their cameras, and yet, they live in Prisons Themselves.
Who are these Humans, these passing Thieves?
They can explain the color content of a 24-bit RGB pixel, yet, they can’t explain what they feel …
when they see an Old Rose …
an Old Rose Like Me.