A little girl watched
the loud confrontation,
then circled the flower
in slow exploration.
“Please, look again,”
came her calm, patient voice.
“WHY?” cried the screamers.
She smiled. “There’s a choice.”
The Rare, Tiny Flower began as an image of the tiny flower and a small girl defending its mystery, beauty, and right to “find light and grow.” She inherently knows that, frail as it is, it comes with gifts…as does everything and everyone on Earth. We are each tiny, rare, and precious.
I wrote the verse over a year ago in response to the turmoil in my own country, and how it reflected the descent into immature behaviors rising all over the world. People were lashing out, choosing anger, selfishness, name-calling, blaming…all the lower emotional and spiritual human responses to the fear and loss the pandemic brought with its physical destruction and to the mature sacrifices we needed to make to survive and to protect each other.
Behaving from these “lower frequencies” unfortunately, seems the baseline standard for too many leaders and media forums. Most of us cannot counter the darkness their power spreads in the world, or especially the ways it influences our children’s intellectual, emotional, and spiritual formation, except through our own little attempts to choose kindness, love, forgiveness, and openness, in the world, however insignificant our efforts might seem. We can try to live into “small acts of great kindness,” as both St. Therese and Mother Teresa modeled and shared with their times and corners of Earth.
I fail from moment to moment…just this morning, as Phillip and I watched the horrors unfolding in Ukraine, we found ourselves snapping at each other before we caught, released, and named how that evil energy had entered us and momentarily controlled our words and actions. The entire world is frustrated and short-tempered after two years of isolation and loss, but we must, we must retain our childlike willingness to connect with the Other, to interrupt the flow of anger, fear, and greed, to name the truth and offer hope. We can catch ourselves failing and try again.
When I was 7, a move across the country was necessitated by another promotion in my father’s career. We went to our new school and met the principal and our new teachers, received a tour, and sat while our parents discussed ‘relevant parental topics’ with the principal. On the drive back home, Mama turned to us in the back seat and asked, “Well, what did you think of your new principal?”
I replied, “She smiled with her face, but not with her eyes.” My mother was so struck by my response that she remembered it and shared it with me when I was much older and it was long forgotten. But it’s what we do as children, and such honest awareness is one of children’s great gifts to us adults who have “matured” and too often discarded our childlike awareness of the world’s wonder and profound sensitivity to the energy behind the masks adults offer the world and the unconscious subtexts their words offer.
Like the little girl in the story, children have the capacity to be the Great Interrupters, the stunning spirits who call us to pause and, just for a moment, see again the potential, the hope, the magic, and unbelievable uniqueness of our existence and the precious place we call Earth, we call our home. And those are the moments we need, more than ever.
Please, as we witness what cruelty and suffering a childish madman can unleash, let us retain our childlike companions of hope, sensitivity, openness, and a willingness to forgive and love. Let us listen like children and hear the tender, beautiful music from which we were created and that always surrounds us. Let us see with the simple clarity of a child that there are always other choices, always other responses available, and always new ways to use our gifts to create the peaceful world we imagine. And then we must make those choices and create that better world.
Help, however you are able. Gentle peace to you, and thank you for your gifts in the world.
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