‘I am blooming as a flower’
I admire the tenacity and complexity of ivy.
If you look closely at ivy on a garden wall,
you will see that over many years
it has penetrated the cracks between the stones,
expanded over a wide area,
clung everywhere to the rough surfaces,
grown back on itself, interpenetrated itself,
died back in places and then grown again on top.
It has created a dense, tangled, clinging mass.
It reminds me a lot of my own mind, which I also admire.
Of course we prefer to think of our minds
as sophisticated instruments of intellectual clarity,
and there is no doubt some truth in that.
If a spiritual teacher then tells us that happiness is very simple,
and that we can realise it by becoming as fresh as a flower,
the ivy part of us naturally becomes a little upset:
‘I’ve spent years developing my dense complexity attached to this wall.
I am sophisticated and urbane.
Happiness will one day emerge from my ever-increasing sophistication.’
We can perhaps reassure ourselves at this point.
There is no requirement to abandon our precious intellect
(though some judicious pruning might not go amiss).
Ivy has a beauty of its own, and a place in any garden.
We can however, in contemplation and appreciation,
track back into the depths of our minds,
trace where the trunk thickens closer to the ground,
notice the flow of energy emerging from the roots,
and follow these back deep into the soil of our being.
There the seeds of many flowers await,
ready to germinate and grow.
In our garden, there is infinite space
for the simplicity of happiness to bloom.