Softening Our Hearts from Stone to Soil
It was a simple picture that grabbed my attention. It was a rock split open Through the crack rose a beautiful flower, blossoming. It is a picture I saved returning again and again to sit with it. I don’t know what it was but it haunted me. Maybe it is the resilience of life. There are many science fiction movies about how life survives. Nature endures. And if we could only step aside and trust in nature, life will find a way. Life will find a way. May life find a way, beyond and through and around all the destruction. There is something lovely about faith in life, faith in nature, in creation surviving. Faith in life and love and nature… thriving. Particularly at a time when we seem to be teetering on the very real possibility of demise. Sure, God created the world to be good. Is it still good? Do we have faith in the goodness of the world? This flower affirms my faith in that goodness. And there’s more. There is something about the way that these Muslim sages teach us to see the outside as the inside, the heavenly as the earthly. We live in an enchanted universe, with here and there all mingled. The great Rumi reflected on this same theme:
Don’t claim in spring on stone some verdure grows
Be soft like soil to raise a lovely rose—
For years you’ve been a stony-hearted man
Try being like the soil now if you can!
So this flower is inside us We are the rock We are the splitting We are the flower blossoming through It is all us It is in us It is from us What if we came to see the rock as our own heart? A heart that was once so hard Perhaps it broke Perhaps it broke open And what was once just a crack Became an opening Yes, there is a crack in everything in everyone in every stone in every heart that’s how the light gets in As Leonard told us As Rumi told us But there is more: The light gets in And the flower gets out Sometimes the rock itself softens becomes the soil the flower is rooted in Even if your heart was once hard as a rock May a thousand flowers blossom through its cracks Blessed be these cracks stones turning into soft soil