Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Nocturnal Observation

There is something magical about a garden at night. Of course, there is a fragile beauty in the opening of a jasmine bud or the slow unfolding of the lotus as dawn breaks, but the night brings its own mysterious beauty. Shadows flit and plants that are meant to be asleep nod gently in the breeze. Everything looks dark, but if you wait, the wind whispers things to you and the garden takes on a life of its own.

Last night, my bryophyllum bloomed as it does generally once a year (almost on the same night each lunar year- for just one night). The flowers, hanging off the very edge of a giant leaf were so bright and wonderfully scented, like beacons for the little nocturnal insects that soon began crawling into them. Interestingly, the fragrance was strongest not close to the plant, but a little distance away.

Last year, a leaf cutting of my plant was put into my brother's garden. And sure enough, last night, I got a call, telling me that the plant had flowered. This intrinsic annual rhythm never misses a beat and one wonders- how? And- why? Why does a plant that grows vegetatively expend so much energy in flowers of such beauty and fragrance?

I suppose the answer lies in the plant's evolutionary history, but I think that's just the way this world is. Why do things happen the way they do - and why do some people seem to nucleate, at times, facilitate peace or happiness or healing when they have nothing evidently to gain from it? I suppose it is their nature.

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