This morning I would like to examine an analogy with this beautiful flower.
Lotus flowers start to grow underwater and initially cannot be seen from the surface. The conditions that they grow in are ones of dirt and hostility (insects, mud). They first appear through the water as just a stem with some leaves, then gradually opening each petal and blooming.
Just like occasionally you see flowers coming out of walls or pavements, these are symbols that serve as a reminder that circumstances do not determine our capacity to shine.
The flower doesn’t ask for permission from the wall or from the muddy pond to be beautiful, it doesn’t stop its growth because of the adverse conditions. If anything, it even appears more beautiful because of its struggle with adversity than if it was in a garden. It doesn’t think about changing the world, it just shines, and in a way that does change the world.
Why then does any external indication seem to stop us from growing? Why can we not bloom regardless of what is happening around us? How many of us are stems in muddy water, waiting for the water to be clean before coming to the surface? Although it would be a lot easier if external conditions were optimal for growth, unfortunately they are not always going to be. In a sleeping society driven by greed, there will always be criticism. There will always be resistance. There will always be distraction. Our only job is to continue to thrive regardless. We do not need permission to be growing creatures, we do not need approval to be true to ourselves. This life is set on a background of death, so what do we really have to lose?
Again here I see it. Beautiful skies trapped by city structures. The sky doesn’t wait for the buildings to disappear so it can express itself, it shines regardless of them. Ironically there will always be space for that expression. It is not a perfect shape or design, but it doesn’t have to be. It is that effort and uniqueness that captures the heart.
That continuous search for expression amongst adversity.. that is beauty, in this world.