The lotus finally awakes from its winter’s sleep. The first shoots, emerging from the muck, unfurl their leaves to lie like lily pads on the surface.

Lotus muck

Only later will shoots grow to their magnificent height with leaves waving in the sun and rain like umbrellas in a Manet painting.

Lotus 2

Are the first leaves scouts, checking to see if it is warm enough, if there is sun enough? Or are they the ones chosen to gather the first food of the season, feeding the bulbs below to make them strong enough to impel the plant to its late-season glory?

Lotus first leaf

The lotus. One of the most ancient of symbols. It is everywhere in ancient Egyptian art. It appears in the headdress of the ancient Minoan snake goddess. The lotus pose is the fountain for yogic and Buddhist meditation practices. Why?

The lotus thrives in the murkiest of waters. Its leaves and blossoms emerge pristine, shedding the muck to stand tall and beautiful in the summer sun. Each night the lotus blossom closes only to open again at daybreak. Nourished by the muck but with beauty unsullied, born and reborn. It is a symbol of rising above the trials of our daily lives and of rebirth.

But the first leaves, too, deserve attention. They are the modest ones that lie quietly on the murky surface. They serve as their own symbol–of the journey that must be taken. Of lying quiet as the sun above and muck below nourish one’s core. Of gathering strength and then rising tall. Of embracing the journey knowing the blossoms will come.

Lotus original 2006-07-07


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  1. Top photo really grabbed me by the throat! The clarity! The color saturation ! Will take time with the text just a bit later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I took that photo several years ago and it’s still one of my favorites, Ed. It took me a while to notice the sky and clouds reflected in the water, which just added another level of fascination for me. I’m glad it grabbed you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. what beauty, and what beautiful thoughts!

    thanks, Nadia

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Enlightenment springs from Halcyon Pond with the Lotus, even as it did 26 centuries ago in Buddha’s world, becoming one of his Eight Auspicious Symbols. As your poignant liturgy reveals, our evolution should be inspired and promulgated simply by opening our eyes and minds to the world in which we are immersed. Yet Writings like yours, and Buddha’s, seem to be a necessary catalyst for seeing the Path of Truth hidden deep within each of us.

    Spring forth, O Lotus…. and Nadia!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So beautiful…. like a fairy tale in the forest… Loved so much. Thank you dear Nadia, have a nice weekend, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome, I have never seen a Lotus in a forest !

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Really beautiful images, makes me feel like stopping and reflecting. Good on you for bringing this to the world!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. But what the Muck! poor Muck, all the glory-words go to the flowers and leaves. Yet you’ve recognized the Muck as an integral part of the Beauty. Maybe you had to stop for lunch and forgot about poor, but gorgeous Muck. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It was sheer pleasure to read this on a quiet Sunday morning. Thoughtful, insightful, beautiful, AND informative. Also, there is always something calming about your words. The world needs more of this.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Mud, mud, glorious mud. There’s nothing quite like it for cooling the blood. ( I couldn’t help myself!) There is also nothing like it for producing beautiful plants. Thhe lotus is exquisite.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Love your reflection! How extra ordinary live there is to be found in odd spots here on earth always closer to home than one can imagine. If we only open our heart eyes. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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