Friday, July 15, 2011
A Day Lily Reminds Us...
They are called day lilies for a reason: each magnificent blossom only lasts a single day.
The way the petals look -- bold curves and colors, some so velvety to the touch -- makes the flowers look like they are filled with lasting power. It is so hard to comprehend that they literally are here today, gone tomorrow.
Which makes meditating on lilies a curious thing to do.
As I sit staring into the blossoms, questions arise: is there any way to absorb the beauty of these flowers? this summer garden? this incredible summer day? Should I sit here and stare at the flowers 24 seven?
Of course not.
We hear so much about being in the moment. The more one tries to be in the moment, however, the more elusive the experience feels.
Still, I close my eyes. I smile. Listen to that sweet bird chirping a splendid melody. Another bird, its chirp a short series of bullets. A bee circling. The long coo of a mourning dove.
I breathe, feeling peaceful. Grateful.
I am reminded of Tara Brach's incredible book, Radical Acceptance. Brach, a psychologist and Zen Buddhist, talks about opening ourselves up to all of the emotions we feel, no matter how difficult they are. At different points in the book, she talks about how the fullness of any moment can be overwhelming. If we really stop to try to absorb all of what we feel, all the love, all the emotion, all the sensations, it feels sometimes like our hearts will break!
I sit back and smile again.
I try the impossible: to commit this magnificent summer morning to perfect memory.
This piece also appeared on the Huffington Post.