David and I spent ten days in August walking in Namaqualand. I think most of us are aware that the flowers in Namaqualand only flower for a few weeks each year in August and September turning a very dry and arid area into a collage of colour that defies the lack of water in the area. The rest of the year the different plants are, to look at, simply green or brown, sometimes red leaves, stems and roots, the seasonal rhythm of growth and decay continues in the plant culminating in the annual burst of colour.
Contemplating this reality I realised that this is not unlike the life of the striving human being. A striving human being quietly practises such qualities as patience, care, self-ownership, love, openness, objectivity in their daily life with the people they meet whether it be in a business meeting, a community event, on the road in the traffic or washing the dishes, feeding the dogs. This quiet practise becomes visible in the individual in moments where a shared wisdom is spoken, where a warm hug is given to another in the moment that they really need it, where one notices a once angry person greets one with warmth and interest, where you notice a certain caring, patient attitude in a person in the manner they carry the dirty dishes to the kitchen, these moments of flowering in the human being are real. How often do we notice them, wrapped up in our own daily challenges, our own kaleidoscope of prejudices? How often do we celebrate them even if we notice them? We exclaim at a beautiful arrangement of flowers, we wonder at the beauty of the changing seasons, we “aaaah” at the full moon rising in the East, we share our photos on Facebook and WhatsApp. When and how do we celebrate the becoming human being bursting into flower whether it be in a deed, an insight, a shift in attitude? God has given us the eyes to see nature, have we properly developed the ‘eyes’ to see the ‘humanity’ in each other? How should we be celebrating this ‘humanity’.
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