A few days ago, I was walking in my neighborhood while talking to a friend on the phone. Our call dropped, and I stopped walking to call her back. In that pause, I noticed a buzzing and turned to my left to find that I was standing next to a pearl-white magnolia flower that was brimming with bees feasting on its pollen. For a moment, I felt like a voyeur who had stumbled upon a scene of such ecstasy it seemed like I should look away. At the same time, I couldn’t avert my eyes. I moved closer, tempted by the sweet, citrus fragrance and the frenzy of activity, completely forgetting about my friend and our call.
The next morning during my meditation, I imagined myself as one of those bees in the heart of the flower, intoxicated by beauty and potential. I longed to stay in that space and was disappointed when my timer went off, reminding me that life was waiting. And then I remembered that the bee doesn’t stay in the flower, but takes the pollen with it when it leaves.
I was reminded of a poem from my book, Brainstorms, and wanted to share my reading of the poem, “The Wildflowers Are Starting to Sprout," with these pictures of that magnolia (even though it is not a wildflower).
The Wildflowers Are Starting to Sprout
The wildflowers are starting to sprout
on the shoulders of highways,
the hills along the side of the road,
my neighbors’ yards.
Their seeds will be blown and scattered,
each one holding the potential
of all creation.
Does the flower worry about
which seeds will take root
and which will wash away with the next rain?
Does she hold them close,
not wanting to squander
the precious gifts she holds within her heart?
Or does she release,
with joyful abandon,
surrendering to the mystery of the unknowing?
More and more I remember
that the seed that is blown
from where I stand,
never to be seen again,
may very well land
and grow in someone else’s garden.