Punctuate Life

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The Rose that Couldn’t Bloom

     rose

  In our small balcony we have several flowering plants. Some have been with us for years and others we have collected during our travels and here in Florida. Amongst them is a rose plant that blooms bountifully, yielding sometimes 15 blossoms. Cold weather in my part of the world has stymied this proliferous plant. It has one lone rose bud and knowing how tender they can be I half expected it to shrivel up and die. Not this bud! It stands there stolidly pointing its head up.

The bud seems to be saying – I’ll be patient for as long as it takes. I will fulfil my purpose as a bud. I will blossom one day to reveal the deepest and most beautiful part of me. So every morning I wake up and look outside to see the bud as it was – big and rosy, waiting to burst into bloom. I don’t want to rush it. I don’t want to push it. I know that could have a disastrous effect. So I wait with it.

I remember going to a temple once and getting a lotus bud. It is a sacred symbol in many religions and spiritual practices. So I hold onto it reverently until I get home. I put it in a tall vase filled with water. I watch it every day, waiting for it to open up. But it simply refuses to bloom. Me in my impatience (so characteristic of youth) tried to pry it open. I pull the petals apart but the result is not pretty. It ended up being neither a bud nor a flower. I discard it with a heavy heart.

When I look at my brave little rose bud outside, I marvel at its quiet strength. I would wish that kind of strength on my former self. The young 20 something, full of potential and raring to go only to be stalled by less than optimum circumstances.  Circumstances over which I had no control whatsoever. But for which I took all the blame. Unlike the rose I felt crushed, defeated and hung my head in shame. I even forgot that inside of me was this radiance that would never dim. Unlike the rose I forgot to put on a brave face, stand tall and wait it out until the heavens smiled down on me.

So valiant bud I bow to thee. Ever so silently you have shown me a lesson worthy of emulation. As things get tough as they are wont to, let me remember you, your graceful beauty and strength to stand up against all odds and triumph. I see today that you have bloomed and fulfilled your destiny as a perfect flower in perfect weather.

From Darkness to Light

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I don’t know how many of you are fortunate enough to have taken an early morning flight from Orlando to New York (totally worth getting up at 3 a.m. for!). This poem is for those of you who haven’t. Nature speaks to us and it’s no wonder that great saints sat under trees or preached from the mountain tops. The beauty around you is a testament of God’s love for you. So next time you feel a cool breeze or see an amazing sunset don’t take it for granted. See it for what it is and receive it with reverence.

I was floating above the clouds and fog

The night sky with its blanket of stars

Stretched endlessly before me

The moon shyly reflecting

The morning rays of the sun

Its orange beams breaking through

The black ocean of clouds

Piercing through the darkness

Transforming the clouds

Into a frozen ocean with peaks and ebbs

The golden horizon lies beyond

Which was but a second ago

Dotted with infinite stars

A jet whizzes past my window

Above the milky ocean

With its white smoky tail

Now there, then gone

The sun broke through the clouds

Beaming gently and taking in the view

The top of the clouds tinged in orange

Every wave in the milky ocean highlighted in gold

Who might be the artist

Of such glorious paintings

That change every second

As I watch in awe?

 

The sun emerges from the prison of clouds

Shining with all its might

Bidding adieu to the starry night

I have to close my eyes now

For His resplendence is too much to bear

With the sun outside my window

And my heart singing with joy

For the wonderful treat I got

While up in the sky!