December 7, 2004

Ripening

A friend held a bulging brown paper sack and asked, “These are from my mother’s tree. Would you like some?” I peered into the bag, and let out a little gasp! I could hardly believe my eyes. The interior of the bag was illuminated by dozens of lemons, so beautiful, perfectly shaped, fragrant and flawless. All together they had a vivid, radiant quality, as though they were glowing from the inside. I felt a childish enthusiasm as my friend generously laid three iridescent lemons in my hands – an extraordinary and delightful gift from our beloved earth on a gray winter’s day.

What has us ripen, become radiant, and mature fully into the spiritual life? A friend told me: “We are all ripening in our own way, at our own pace. Ripening is going on all around us, naturally, ineluctably. Eventually we let go and drop -- pure, beautiful, ripe, juicy -- into open space. Existence is fully awake already, just waiting for us to drop into emptiness.”

And in this emptiness, an apparent radiance...

So much gratitude.

6 comments:

Jon said...

Very true! I read the same thought in Nisargadatta Maharaj's book, I Am That: the ripening is slow, but when the fruit falls, it is sudden.

Happy Buddha Day & Immaculate Conception Day!


jon

Al said...

"Existence is fully awake already, just waiting for us to drop into emptiness."
But don't pick the fruit before its time - patience until it ripens :)

isaiah said...

"Existence is fully awake already, just waiting for us to drop into emptiness.”

Yes- this is the way. Knowing this truth.... we are free. How perfect (ripe)is this very moment, the only moment there is or will ever be.

Thank you for sharing this story. I can only imagine the treat your eyes received at first site of so much yellow-gold in the bag.

tamingthemind said...

"Eventually we let go and drop -- pure, beautiful, ripe, juicy -- into open space."

Wonderful!

Trev Diesel said...

My mouth began to water as your story slowly unfolded. Thank you for your beautiful imagery.

My soul began to expand as your story slowly unfolded.
Thank you for opening us to Wisdom.

My inner light began to glow as your story story slowly unfolded.
Thank you for pointing us back to our own radiance.

david said...

One day when I was -- maybe 4 -- I stood on the curbside looking both ways. My Mom came out and asked me what I was doing -- she had taught me to look both ways before crossing the street -- but didn't want me crossing alone.

I'm looking for stones. When I found an interesting one I put it in my pocket.

Sometimes I think we were all born enlightened. And the spiritual work is all about unlearning the stuff we have learned as adults. Learning to be amazed at the world around us again.

You just reminded me. That's all.