It [realization of Oneness] means being constantly open to the possibility that we are like two flowers looking at each other from two different branches of the same tree, so that if we were to go deep enough inside to the trunk, we would realize that we are one. Just being open to this possibility will have a profound effect on your relationships and on your experience of the world.
It was a perfect spring day. The air was sweet and gentle and the sky stretched high, an intense blue. Harold was certain that the last time he had peered through the net drapes of Fossebridge Road (his home), the trees and hedges were dark bones and spindles against the skyline; yet now that he was out, and on his feet, it was as if everywhere he looked, the fields, gardens, trees, and hedgerows and exploded with growth. A canopy of sticky young leaves clung to the branches above him. There were startling yellow clouds of forsythia, trails of purple aubrietia; a young willow shook in a fountain of silver. The first of the potato shoots fingered through the soil, and already tiny buds hung from the gooseberry and currant shrubs like the earrings Maureen used to wear. The abundance of new life was enough to make him giddy.
―Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
It is easy to miss delightful things when we only accept and cultivate experiences that we expect to be life-changing.
Last summer, my husband and I stayed one night at Lake Brownwood State Park here in Texas on our way to New Mexico. I woke up early that morning and decided that I would take a walk over to the lake. I didn’t expect much, being far more excited about the places to come, but it was not too hot yet and I needed the exercise.
The hike was a pleasant one, notable for the interesting mix of desert and wetland plants and the juxtaposition of habitats. The Western Cross Timbers, Edwards Plateau, Grand Prairie and Rolling Plains regions all come together here. There are also some attractive stone structures and features made by the Civilian Conservation Corps before and during the World War II era (1933-42). Moths and butterflies were plentiful, and I met up with an itinerant road runner who kept me from missing the trail on the way back. This trail reminded me that some of life’s great moments happen unannounced. If we only take those walks that promise to impress us with spectacular scenery, we miss the subtler beauty that lies all around us. Sometimes that is all we need and all the more precious.
The library was a great sprawling complex with rolls and rolls of paper tucked into many shelves. Between the reading rooms were courtyards with living fountains and singing birds and butterflies that would transform into handsome young women to guide or entertain anyone who stayed there any length of time. I saw one among the stacks, explaining an older style of calligraphy to the newly appointed Heavenly Marine Official of the South China Sea. In another wing, a librarian stepped from her chrysalis for the first time, reciting T’ang Dynasty poetry to the flowers. That’s how I knew I was in the right section.
The fig tree grows its flowers strangely inside out, concealed within the soft interior of the fruit. Erszébet imagines the fig’s hidden fairy weight of seeds, grown in sweetness that is also a darkness. Like treasure in a cave.
―Jody Shields,The Fig Eater
“When I was a girl,” she had once told a friend, “I was terribly sure trees and flowers were the same as birds or people. That they thought things, and talked among themselves. And we could hear them if we really tried. It was just a matter of emptying your head of all other sounds. Being very quiet and listening very hard. Sometimes I still believe that. But one can never get quiet enough…”