Friday, May 25, 2007

Mama Says Om - Bloom

(Sigh), blooming. . . there just had to be a water lily or lotus here this morning for the theme of the week at Mama Says Om.

The first wildflowers of northern springtime have passed their time of blooming, and although many of the bloodroot, violets, trilliums and hepatica were captured for electronic posterity with the camera, they will be just a poignant memory until the next springtime rolls around. We find ourselves in the time of columbines and wild orchids now, and that is a delight too.

It will not be long until the water lilies (or lotus) are in bloom. My grandmother had a favorite saying, more of a wisdom tale or parable for my much younger self. She used the water lilies in the pond on her farm as its central motif, because she knew I loved them. "We cannot choose where we were born or in what circumstances, Catherine," she said, "but we can be like these water lilies and make a life for ourselves, a good, happy, useful and compassionate life. All we have to do is embrace our time and place and just get on with things, bloom right wherever we are planted."

The origins of the lotus are way down there in the mud, the muck, the slime and the pollution, and it sends its elegant tendrils spiraling up through the purifying (although one cannot be sure of that these days) element of water, emerging on the surface to float effortlessly and bloom so gloriously that there are no words for it — for the breathtaking shape, colour, luminescence and indescribable perfume — the blooms glow like lanterns or beacons, even in deepest twilight.

This watery wonder is a perfect metaphor for our earthly journey, and for the long meandering voyage toward enlightenment, wisdom or simple knowing which we are taking together. Grandmother's saying "that one may bloom right where she is planted", has been in use in the little blue house in the village for at least forty years, and some time ago, I put her words and a lotus on T-shirts and other items at Cafe Press. The young members of my tribe remember her words perfectly and use them often in conversation (I wonder what the other kids on the playground think of that.), but after all these years, I still need a reminder now and again. . .



I REALLY needed that today. Thank you. Are you sure you're not a (good) witch?

Anonymous said...

Dear Cate,
Hats off to you and your Grandmother. Such beauty in wise words and in this photo, simply the best.

Val said...

Thank you for sharing the reminder and the lovely image too.