Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wish and Blow

Perhaps you too remember this: making a wish by blowing on a globe of dandelion seeds? It was a Summer ritual as I grew up, my breath propelling the tiny white parachutes, watching them float onto lawns and flower beds. My wish would come true if all the seeds achieved lift-off at once, launching themselves into a new life.

If you live with a serious gardener, such practices are discouraged, since re-seeding a weed is not really recommended. But still, each Summer here in Big Sur I find many opportunities to wish and blow.

Last week I noticed a perfect specimen as I drove down the dirt road from my home to the highway. For days, this remnant of I-don't-know-what stood unwavering beside the flow of trucks and cars bouncing up and down the ridge. 

While I did not pluck it, I did take a picture, remembering a snippet of verse from Edna St. Vincent Millay taught to me as a girl by my most honorable Bluebird leader: "I will be the gladdest thing under the sun, I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one."

Like blowing out candles on a birthday cake, there is a metaphor in the ritual of scattering seeds via breath, a hopeful way of letting go. Seems we are always blowing our way into the next moment, moving towards what we wish for, knowing the shore we reach, the lawn or flower bed we land in, will most likely bring us something different from our dreams (and yet be exactly what we need.)

And, musing on the wisdom of seeds and what they have represented to humans over millennia, I come across one of my favorites, from Hafez, the 14th century Sufi poet from Persia: 

Will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the crown of destiny,
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to.

Love will surely bust you wide open
Into an unfettered, blooming new galaxy
Even if your mind is now
A spoiled mule.
A life-giving radiance will come,
The Friend’s gratuity will come —

O look again within yourself,
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation.
From a sacred crevice in your body
A bow rises each night
And shoots your soul into God.

Maybe it's the Viognier I sip as I look down at the cobalt blue ocean from my soft blanket on the bright green grass, but it seems that Hafez, once again, has nailed it.  Our wishes do come true, in ways that make us shine, just by breathing and letting go.