Some images, some memories always remain fresh. And the insights gained from those images, the reflections gleaned from those memories become even more relevant now, more than ever.
But before I walk down the memory lane, a quick look at the present. As recent as today.
The big Frangipani (Plumeria) tree in my front garden is blossoming happily these days. Every morning and late afternoon I find many buttery-creamy-pinkish-white flowers strewn under the tree. These mildly and pleasantly fragrant blossoms are simply arranged or floated in various vases and containers to be placed throughout the house.
Sometimes just one flower is enough in a pretty, tiny little recycled glass jar which once housed some spice. But if you can have more of pretty-ness in an old piece of pottery, that’s always better, no?
These are a couple of simple arrangements from today.
Back to the memories now. The first one dates to April 3, 2014.
That morning before arranging freshly gathered Frangipanis, when I went to empty out this one particular urli (which actually is a large old utensil that was perhaps used to cook some daal or rasam in someone’s kitchen in the years gone by) and throw away the water and flowers from the previous day’s arrangement in the compost bin, I saw this.
The light was hitting at just the right place. The way the colour of the water had changed as the oil from the flowers intermixed with it was absolutely gorgeous. I stood for a few minutes simply admiring.
And then I took some pictures, just to preserve this beauty.
Love between oil and water. Love that can create beauty.
Love that needs the Light to make it more Beautiful.
Another memory of another image. Another lesson on Light. This one from seven years ago, October 3, 2007 to be specific.
On that particular day, late afternoon while walking home I saw an amazing little beautiful deep pink flower, perhaps some wildflower or some weed, gracefully revealing its head from within a thick heap of cement, pieces of broken brick, and a bit of other street garbage thrown together on a street corner. It was hard to imagine that anything so delicate could grow out of such dark and hard material, yet the flower was standing erect on its little tender stem. The resilience with which this flower was blooming in such physical surroundings made me think of the power of inner opening and receptivity.
Within a hard shell created by the cement, clay and pieces of brick there perhaps was some little spot which opened itself to the Light and Force of Mother Nature and voila, life was born. Within that closed, tightly bound construction garbage, there was something in a little spot which was able to receive the Light and Force, and a flower was born.
How can we open ourselves more and more to the Light and Force? How do we develop within us a greater receptivity to receive this Light and Force?
The Masters have emphasized several ways, foremost among them are: unyielding faith and complete trust in That (we may call it the Divine or the Supreme Being or the Creative Energy or the Supreme Existence or the Absolute or the Source or the One-in-Many, or by any other of its countless names); sincere, patient, calm and one-pointed aspiration for inner growth; elimination of ego-insistence in all forms; and self-offering and loving surrender to That.
With an unyielding and uncompromising faith in the Divine and a complete trust in the Divine Plan we help strengthen our aspiration and reinforce our personal effort to grow inwardly. And with the force of a renewed aspiration one’s faith too is renewed and rejuvenated.
While the task of eliminating ego-sense and its numerous little and big demands is HUGE, even our initial efforts to become more conscious of when we are resisting to something because of our egoism can help expand our inner opening. We close ourselves to the Force from above because we fill ourselves tightly with ego and its demands. We carry too much burden and weight of our egos and thereby have very little open space within where the Light from Above can shine.
When we let go of the resistance, we become calm and still like that water in the urli which absorbed the oil from the flowers and waited patiently for the Light to shine upon it to reveal its beauty. Only when we begin to get rid of the dead weight of the ego and its preferences, pulls and prejudices we can begin to find an inner harmony where even the opposites, like oil and water, can combine and make way for a new beauty.
The journey to our inner, truer self is a long one, demanding a concentrated aspiration for inner growth. This journey brings us face to face with our imperfections and insufficiencies, with our darkness and denseness. It doesn’t permit us to delude ourselves that someone will come and remove the pile of dirt we have allowed to gather on our inner nature. We have to struggle within, patiently and sincerely, and slowly find our way to the Light through this darkness.
Be patient, be sincere, aspire toward the Light – this is what that little pink flower on the roadside seems to be telling us. The flower that was happily and humbly growing in the middle of a construction dump, opening itself to the Light above and receiving the Force to help grow and spread its self-existent beauty and joy…even when no one was looking.
All photos except the last one are taken by the author. The last one is sourced from here.