Context surfaces from the depths of the moment we’re in, and paints its amazing colors on the interior and exterior of Life’s Landscapes. Today is a day of sun; and sun is a sought-after and coveted element of life in the Pacific Northwest. When it comes, we must respond.
There’s something lovely about breathing in the ambiance of the current moments of life, as they pass. Today was another walk back through the Queen’s Park neighborhood – a stately of collection of heritage homes and gardens, in what is one of British Columbia’s oldest, historic communities.
What struck me on this walk was the character of individual flowers in the milieu of light and shade. Those of us who reflect sometimes on the nature of life witness a synchronicity in the panoramas of the natural world around us. Flowers have their unique personalities: they’re patient beings. They stay where they’re rooted, unfold sweetly at their own perfect pacing, and add color, life and beauty to the most mundane of environments.
Some flowers are “social beings” – they grow in clusters – large, noisy families and clan. Others are more solitary, quiet, almost meditative. I’ve been noticing tulips lately. Whether alone, or amongst others, they seem somewhat self-absorbed. Quiet. “Prayerful” almost. Their petals are folded up in the most unique, serene manner. They come undone in their own time, but always, inevitably, before the onslaught of summer.
So, these flowers, in their unique and humble occupation of a small artistic patch of time and space, speak to me of the Human Journey. I am one who craves and understands and plunges into periods of solitude in my own journey. Solitude – in order to work – needs proper context both inward and outward, and when this balance is arrived at, solitude becomes a gift, a sweetness, an essential recipe to understanding the architecture of life.
So: beauty in solitude. The flowers outdoors speak to the flowers indoors. What elegant, unassuming and glorious creatures they are. (And yes, King Solomon, in all his glory … couldn’t hold a match to these Significant, unnamed actors on my stage.)
What also struck me, was the play of light and shadow that gave each flower its special “place”. This extravagant “stage lighting” – courtesy, again, of Ma Nature and Pa Sun – could never be emulated, fabricated or approximated by any of Hollywood’s expensive lighting kits and unionized technicians. Shadow and dark, it seemed, were essential agents in the backdrop that gives each flower its unique beauty. And the lighting: changing every moment. You have to be there. You have to be present. To witness. To understand. To receive.
And so, the gifts are given. Every moment. This fascinating, interesting, absorbing, unique – and ephemeral – production, called “My Life” is happening. In the Theater of Now. It only plays once. Admission is free, but there is one string attached: this is, you have to show up. You have to be present. You have to be alive in this moment of now, or you miss the whole show.
You miss the Solitary Flowers. The Fragrance. The shouting of a million Japanese Plum blossoms. The quiet whispers of Monastic Tulips, praying in Humble Churches of Unkempt Back-Yards. You miss the simple daisies and dandelions as they tell their proud working-class story to the soft green grasses that glimmer in the background.
So much can be said with a Whisper, a Sigh. A nodding head in the wind, from these simple, colorful beings who know and celebrate their humble purpose and place in life, with a song that makes us all look mute and deaf in comparison.
This was a simple walk, from a Morning Coffee, to an Afternoon Computer, on this one day called Friday May 20th, 2011, which will never come again. These gifts were given to me.
I pass them on to you.