The Flower Outside My Window
Life can overwhelm us. We focus so much on our work, our family and our problems that we forget to really see, and in seeing, understand.
I sit at my laptop by the window here in St. Petersburg, Florida, writing for Triond, perhaps, or researching a new interest or two. In moments in between, I let my mind wander to other aspects of my life, pieces of flotsam that may be troubling, or maybe I am just pondering over some event, person or thing. There are days when I am very busy, with this and that pulling for attention. Sometimes, I get too many calls for focus, and the day ends, without me knowing how it even went by. I was too preoccupied with the mundane, the trivial, the speedbumps of life.
I sat here this morning, and looked out my window, waiting for thoughts to come together for an article. There, in the window just outside the glass was a huge, crimson and yellow hibiscus flower, in full bloom. I studied the flower, and noticed that the sunlight striking its mamouth petals reflected a golden hue, a heavenly pooling of color along each of its willing parts. This mosaic puzzle transformed the flower into something magical. These are the images that true art and beauty are made from.
I sat for some time, gazing at this flower, and felt that this was the real world. I had thoughts about how we don’t see our world much any more, so caught up are we with our little busy lives. We put importance on things and people that do not deserve nor merit our attention. We try to solve issues and “problems” that will probably resolve themselves, one way or another. We let our days go by without noticing the hours passing, and at the end of the day, we have lost another piece of our lives on earth, never to be captured again.
One day my son asked me how to slow time down. My son is not a child, he is an adult, and he was dead serious. He was (and is) concerned about how fast time is passing. He is concerned that he is missing the big picture, and that there is something else he should be tending to, but he doesn’t know what. He is a very busy man, with two businesses, one in the U.S. and one in Equador. He does importing and automotive endeavors, and makes excellent money. He has paid off his properties, and pays cash for everything. He really has few cares, but is a workaholic. He cannot relax.
When he asked me that question, the only way I could answer him was to say, “Stop.” He was silent. He is never silent. But he was this time. “Stop?” he said. “Yes, stop.” “Stop and do what?” was his reply. I told him to just stop and do nothing. Think about nothing, just notice something in nature. He lives on an island, facing the open water, and he will go to the small boardwalk and gaze at the water sometimes. He will tell me about the beach erosion, and other items of interest in his world down there. I told him that if he can make more moments like this, of just stopping an noticing his world, he can slow it down.
We only have this moment. When it is passed, it is gone. If we are so busy that we are “speed reading” life, we will scan a lot, but miss what is important. We tend to think that a hibiscus outside the window is not important, and we may look past it to the street beyond, or we may be distracted by the phone ringing. We may remember that we forgot to feed the cat, or do a load of wash. All of that will always be there.
But the cat can wait another ten minutes without starving. The caller can leave a message. Right now, there is a hibiscus outside my window that has a special golden light reflected just right on its petals. Tomorrow, the hibiscus flower will be dead and shriveled. Right now is all there is, and I want to be fully in the moment with my flower.