Monday, December 17, 2007
As Perennial as the Grass
As I walked through the forest of life in search of the perfect flower, the first flower that I chanced upon was the rose. It was exquisite and elegant. It was rich and charismatic. It was delicate and charming. It was not meant for the ordinary. It was made for someone special. This is the flower I had been looking for all my life! My heart soared to great heights. What more could someone ask for. It could not get more perfect than this. It was my first love.
Day and night, I wove dreams of togetherness with this love. The thought that I would possess it forever made me so happy, I thought I was becoming insane. My search had come to an end.
As I moved closer to it, the rose eluded me. I eventually realized that the rose was not made for me. What a disappointment it was. How would I live without it? I wept in grief at my loss. I wept for several days. I had loved and lost.
It left behind a void in my life which no one else could ever fill. First love is never forgotten. I would never love again with this intensity for no one else could be as perfect as this one. It was the only one of its kind…
Holding on to my dream with utmost tenacity, I continued walking through the forest, not caring to notice my surroundings, but imagining that I would find the rose again. I said to myself consolingly “The rose and I have a future together, for otherwise, the encounter would never have happened”.
After several miles of journey, when my memory of the rose had faded, when my wounds had healed, when the blood had dried, I met another flower. The Jasmine. The fragrance of it permeated the air, filling the surroundings with a sweet scent. Yet it did not stand out, but merged in perfect harmony with its environment. I was drawn towards it.
It contained enough sweetness in it’s womb to diffuse it’s aroma throughout the forest, and yet it practiced a quiet reticence. It could afford to be loud and proud but it practiced such humility, lending itself as a string of flowers to a youthful maiden who would decorate her hair with it and at the same time, offering itself in innocent submission to a priest, who would place it at the feet of a deity in a temple. I had not known anyone so modest. I was in love again.
How mistaken had I been in thinking I would never love again. Not only did love happen but the intensity was the same this time. I knew, for I had experienced it before. My heart soared once again. It could not get more perfect than this. It was the only one of its kind. My search had come to an end this time.
But as I moved close to it, it eluded me. I moved closer and it was gone. My heart bled. It hurt with the same intensity, but this time it was a familiar pain. I had gone through it before. Ah! What a tantalization! There is no greater cause of distress in life than the cause of unrequited love. My faith in the permanence of my hard luck was restored. I would never love again for no one would replace the love of jasmine in my heart.
I moved on. It was a tiring expedition through a rough terrain of thorns and shrubs, creepers and climbers. There was no sign of respite, no fountains and no springs. As I walked, I saw a flower the name of which I do not know. It was a wild flower. There was nothing remarkable about it. It was neither rich in colour not did it have a fragrance. It simply existed in a natural uncultivated state. What I liked about it was that it did not care to defend its position. It did not try to give a justification. It had an untamed, undomesticated, unbashful disposition which I found very intoxicating. It was simple, candid and uncomplicated. Living in abandon, carefree as the winds, it drew me towards itself.
Now I was annoyed at myself for feeling this way about something so primitive and uncultured. What had happened to my taste? Was it desperation that led to this feeling? Should I settle for something so unrefined?
When I look back at the journey, I am surprised at myself. When I began my journey I was looking for something spectacular, I was looking for aristocracy, exquisiteness which I found in the rose, but as I moved on, I valued the humility and modesty of the jasmine. I was impressed with the care freeness of the wild flower. Have I lost the very purpose of the search that I had begun? Have I become less choosy or have I matured as a human, and has my perspective changed?
I became introspective. I looked back in retrospection. A realization was the outcome of my contemplation.
On an impulse when I compare the rose and the jasmine and the wild flower, I observe, not that one was better than the other but that, each one was as perfect and as complete as the other. Loving one was as ecstatic as loving the other. The loss of one was as painful as the loss of another.
The roots of my beliefs are now shaken. They say that love happens only once and they say that first love is never forgotten. I believed them. But now I wonder. Is there any truth in these? Perhaps they are nothing more than seeds of thoughts implanted in the society by wise men with ulterior motives.
There are no wounds that time cannot heal, nothing that cannot be forgotten. Time does not forgive anything or anyone.
Perhaps the only truth is that love is unconditional. You don’t need a reason to love. You don’t need a perfect flower either. It never really is the last time. For the heart is an inexhaustible resource of an endless supply of love. It needs to bestow this love upon someone. If it contains or withholds this love within itself, then it suffers. It dies under its own weight.
I now stand disillusioned.
The heart will soar and plunge again and again. It will explode in ecstasy, weep in despondency, go through silent suffering, rejoice in fulfillment, wriggle (squirm) in desperation again and again not because the flowers of the forest are irresistible, but because love itself is perpetual, like the seasons that come and go, year after year.
Love may elude you once but it will beckon you again. Do not be cynical about love for it is as perennial as the grass. It can happen to anyone, at any time and many times. And every time it is as fulfilling, as refreshing, as perfect as it was the last time. You will love the rose, the jasmine, the wild flower and many more cause love is perennial and perpetual.
Love prevails as long as the journey. You cannot define it’s boundaries. You cannot describe it using parameters. You don’t know when the search began and you cannot say that it has come to an end. For all you know just around the corner there may be that special flower waiting for you.
As I continue my walk through the forest of life, I now find myself standing before the sacred Lotus in the midst of sparkling waters!
My heart soars once again. Even though I try hard not to, I cannot help believing that this is the most perfect of them all. This is the flower I was looking for. It is unlike anything I have seen before and there never will be anything like this ever after.
My search has come to an end and I find myself moving close to it!!