A friend told me to walk out into the garden early in the morning and check on my poppy plants. So before seven this morning I tread through the wet grass after the thunderous stormy night.
I stood quietly observing my sprawling poppy plants. Waiting, watching. I was reminded of the sentiment I heard from a Thomas Merton biography I’d just watched. During his last journey to China to attend a consortium of monks from all religions, he related that there is a recognition that occurs between people who have practiced deep solitude, meditation stillness. He related seeing it in the presence of Thich Nhat Hahn and then again with the Dalai Lama. Sometimes that practice of compassion with detachment can be called patience.
Patience, yes, that is a very familiar practice in my life. So as I surrendered to observing the poppy plant’s nature, I whispered to myself, patience, patience.
Something sprung forth at the edge of my sight. The green cap of a potential flower was gone and the still moist, rich, orange petals uncurled too many petals to count with an instantaneous blossom. I bent forward to look closer gifted immediately with the dark, dark purple center. I smelled freshness.
Another popping occurred and once gain I was gifted with the instant freedom for those orange petals.
Thomas Merton after spending years and years in solitary hermitage, being fed deeply with the wisdom from the East, responded like the poppy shell bursting out to the world. He had finally met the profound wisdom so deliberately sought in his lifetime.
He delivered a highly controversial summation of the oneness; the sameness of all that seek that divine union with the mystery called life. It’s felt, vibration of unity of family of brother and sister-hood.
The Catholic faith that he represented at this consortium was stunned to silence.
A mystery shrouds the last hours of Merton’s life. While resting before the evening discussion of his thoughts, somehow a fan fell on his chest and he was electrocuted. He was gone. Like the blossoming of a poppy it’s almost spontaneous. The flowering is short-lived and then it’s gone, leaving behind a magical pod of great future potential.
Compassion – patience – nature – mystery – sudden – complete – now.