Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Great Matter

I was surprised and pleased to see this Mayflower blooming yesterday, April 20. They're called "May" apples. They are very shy, hiding under the big leaves. Described in my Audubon guide as "Solitary, nodding flower . . . The common name refers to the May blooming of its apple-blossom-like flower." Audubon is quite right - they appear around here where there is a damp, shady clearing in rich woods.

This morning Tricycle sent me an article by Stephen and Ondrea Levine. Many American Buddhists know them as a couple who have worked with dying. They say that so often when they sat with people who were on their deathbed, they heard these three themes -
I wish I had gotten divorced earlier; I wish I had taken a job for love of the work, not money; I wish I had played and enjoyed myself more.
The first one sort of surprised me until I thought that getting divorced is often more than separating from that person - it involves pulling ourselves out of a life that was given to us, and making our own choices for the first time. How hard it is to just be yourself; otherwise there would be no need for Zen.

The second one, no surprise. In my own life, what a hard time I had accepting that there was something I loved to do - write. I'll spare you the actual biography, but how sad it seems to me when I remember years in a suit and heels, shopping mindlessly on lunch hour because it was at least a little break from the boredom, instead of writing children's books.

And play. Yesterday I drove down to the ravine and walked around with my camera. I discovered the mayapples, some blue jay feathers, some little purple flowers I can't find in my Guide. Maybe they are perennial phlox that wandered down that way, or maybe something that has never been named or classified. I'm going to go down there tomorrow and see if I can find them and have a close look at the leaves. Useless activity. Play.


  1. Both writing and photography " a picture is worth a thousand words" are sources of joy.

    I am hoping on my deathbed not to use the word 'wish.'

  2. Not get married, work on what I love to do, and play.. choices I made when still quite young. Still the spirit yearns for more. Maybe on my deathbed I will regret not having more discipline. :D

    Your flower play is nice.. I like flower adventures.