Time to Reflect

My whole life is mine, but whoever says so
will deprive me, for it is infinite.
The ripple of water, the shade of the sky
are mine; it is still the same, my life.

No desire opens me: I am full,
I never close myself with refusal-
in the rhythm of my daily soul
I do not desire-I am moved;

by being moved I exert my empire,
making the dreams of night real:
into my body at the bottom of the water
I attract the beyonds of mirrors…
Rainer Maria RIlke
Waterlilies are honest and true. They never make assumptions. They simply exist, and one day you go outside and realize that the pond, while sometimes murky and sullen, has suddenly come alive with  color and beauty.
This year, my pond seemed not to cooperate. Spring went by, with its share of unusual weather, heavy rains and blistering hot drought. But it recovered without incident. Plants may have been currented to one side or another, but the waterlilies remained steadfast and unmoved through it all.

So the qualities I admire are right here beneath my bridge-protected feet.
Then I think of the life of the waterlily and how, like the poet, we are moved to thoughts beyond the mundane. Beneath the waterlily lies mysteries we never will know. Above is the sky, giving it a life and color that enhances its reflection. At the surface, joining at the stem, is the visible layer that we exist on.
We carry on our lives at this level, seen and obvious. Shadows fall, waves and stillness alternate, until we take for granted that we are.
So the waterlily simply reminds us that we may see beauty now, but  there will be times when the underneath will emerge, or the top layer will go under. But there is only one thing we can be certain of, and that is that the season will move on. As the flower pollinates and returns to the bottom mud, so we must poke our minds above ourselves once in a while.

The waterlily, satisfied that all is well, safely and silently crumbles into itself. It’s done its job and wants to work on times to come.

It has exerted its empire. It does not desire. It is moved.

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