Meet my flower. This flower grew out of our porch tiles, and we woke up one morning to her bright face popping up to say hello.
And I contemplated how this flower got here.
We have hanging pots on our porch.Last year, this flower was growing in these pots. Then the flower dropped its seeds. A seed nestled in the space between the tiles. And hunkered down. Torrents of rain have fallen. High winds have blown by. Cats and children and birds have played there. We’ve swept! And still this seed hunkered down, not moving from its nestle in the crack. It waited, it held on in its own space. And it waited.
A few days ago, my son cut the weeds out from between some of the tiles. We swept and washed the porch. THE NEXT MORNING, my husband comes in and says, there’s a pink flower growing on the porch.
We took a peek and saw a flower starting to open.
The next day, this is what greeted me as I walked outside. How cheerful! And sweet. She had raised her head to greet us all with a smile and cheer as we walked out of the house. She was facing our door!!! (Not the sun!) With her semi-transparent fucshia colored petals, she was so tenderly joyous, bringing us so much light!
Look how beautiful, how delicate! And this delicate, light giving creation went through this arduous stubborn journey in order to blossom? She went through dark nights and survived wind, rain, cold, hail, and major foot traffic, to get here.
This is the story of light. This is the story of beauty. This is the story of all that is light and beauty in this world.
We all go through the trials that this little flower went through. It is part of the process. It is called nature. This is how the universe works. It rains, it pours, there are hailstorms and gale-force winds in our lives. And when the chaos is over and the dust settles, we see that beauty has emerged. This is life force.
We are in a three week mourning period. The Jews mourn each year anew the destruction of G-d’s greatest light structures in this world – His Temples. We are now in the month of Av and this week, leading up to the Ninth of Av - the day on which both Temples were destroyed, we are mourning.
There is much talk about punishment, fear of G-d, what we have done wrong, how we should stand in fear of our Creator. But that does not resonate with me.
Did the seed in between my porch tiles ask “why is G-d punishing me?” when it rained? Did this tiny seed, hunkered down for the process which was to unfold, ask on dark cold nights, when the hail stormed down, “why is this happening to me?”? Did the tiny seed wail “what have I done wrong?” when the broom swept by, trying to unlodge her, as she held on tight?
No. She asked no questions. She did not wonder.
She knew. This is nature. This is the process. Winter has to come. Trials have to come. I need to wait. I need to be patient. The Plan will unfold. As sure as the sun will rise in the morning, and the sun will set at night. As sure as the New Moon will come each month and the blanket of stars will fill the sky each night. This is nature. This is how the world unfolds, reaching its fullest potential of growth and creation at every moment.
We all go through dark winters. We all go through trials and tribulations. We all also have lives filled with wonderful miracles and endless joy. This is the world. This is nature. This is the process.
As the world goes through it on a natural level, we go through it on a personal one. We each of us have to nestle in our right space. We each of us need to know we are here for a higher purpose, like the flower knows that G-d placed it here to fulfill its highest potential of growth and bringing light and beauty and pollen into the world. It is enough for the flower to know that, in order to sit patiently and wait for its plan to unfold.
We are not punished by a wrathful G-d. We are lovingly set on a path, placed in our crevice on a porch, and tended to and watched over by G-d. The world turns; there are the joys and rebirth of Spring, there is the light and laughter of Summer, there is the leaving behind of that which we do not need of Fall. And there is the storm and darkness of Winter. It is not punishment. It is life.
We are higher beings than flowers in that we have a brain. We, unlike the love and purity driven flower, have the ability to separate ourselves from the love that is this process, and try to out-maneuver it. We think to outsmart it, or perhaps speed it up. What would happen if the flower said, “enough of this waiting! I am blooming now!” And did so on a winter night. She would freeze and be gone.
We have lessons to learn. We have free thought that needs to be conditioned. And do you know what this conditioning and these lessons come to teach us? To surrender to the natural unfoldment of the universe. G-d is at the helm. G-d is at the helm. He makes things as easy as possible for us. He sets us on our course and mans the ship. Why do we meet up with tribulation? When we try to out-maneuver. When do we get hit with trials? When we need to learn to allow ourselves to do our part, not His.
We are all of us that beautiful flower, full of light and cheer and beauty. We are all of us already set on our course to unfold that beauty and show it to the world. We each of us have everything we need IN THIS MOMENT – no excuses – to be that beauty right now. We just need to surrender. Let G-d man the ship. Let us learn our lessons easily and quickly and continue on our path.
We are love. We are light. We are each of us creations, and in the image, of G-d. Follow that natural rhythm. Let the laws of nature work on you. When you do, you see the path is so easy, you just need to follow. You see the light and love and beauty in everyone else, as you see nature and wonder working all around you, bringing this world into yet another beautiful, perfect moment.