We talked about Zen and punk rock for hours, soaring into the blurry future ahead. Brad the punk rock Zen master and I parted company in Atlanta. During the flight from Belize City, we tossed around light hearted small talk on mundane topics such as the nature of reality, karma and the illusion of space time. I didn’t bring up horoscopes or spirit whisperers or talking monkeys; Brad was clearly a strict rationalist and he was so interesting I didn’t want to alienate him with my new bent on twists of reality.
They were such new twists, I wasn’t quite comfortable with them yet myself.
I learned a lot on the flight and he was a good teacher, although he did seem a bit distracted. I wondered if he had his own mind altering tales from meso America that he was just sitting on. He clearly had some walls out in front of his view from the cushion, just like I did. They’re a bitch to break down sometimes.
He was a lovely guy, even if kind of a punk.
The Southwest flight that would take me back to OKC was at the other end of the mini-city that is the Atlanta airport. It felt great to be walking again after the three hour sit in the tiny flying tube that had taken me there. When one has flown through the sky with the eagle, the wings of man seem feeble indeed.
I had plenty of time to catch my flight and was wandering around looking for something appealing to eat. It was a trial after the fresh food feasts I’d been enjoying for the past week; somehow Burger King had lost its appeal. After a pass through the food court I settled on some fruits and nuts from a small vendor’s stand. A flowering plant hanging from the stand had caught my eye, one of my favorites. Passiflora.
“Well aren’t you beautiful!?” I smiled and spoke to it as I approached the man at the register with my food and the greens to pay for it.
Yes I am. You’re looking a little rough, yourself. Tough day?
My jaw dropped for an instant before I recovered. A passion flower had just spoken to me, plain as day and silent as snow. I gave myself a quick look in the reflection from the glass front of the shop behind the vendor. S-he was right, I needed to do some repair work.
“I always bring the flowers to work with me. They attract lovely ladies to my stand. Passiflora is a favorite to some. Many are attracted to the orchids, others to the lily.” The vendor was an old man with long silver hair and weathered skin the shade of dark toast. “Some are attracted to color, others to scent or texture. Flowers offer us endless potential for sublime wonder.”
For a split second, he resembled a turtle.
“Yes, plants are among my greatest loves in life.” I smiled at him as I put the change he handed me into the jar on his stand. “There’s always been Passiflora where I lived, ever since I was a kid. In fact, I searched lots of local nurseries when I first moved to Oklahoma trying to find it and failed. Then one day I pulled into my driveway and there it was, growing wild in my front yard.”
“Patience allows you to observe the sure and steady progression of what is to be. Your keen vision brought you here to Passiflora. Now use all your senses to know what is being offered to you, use your memory and imagination. Listen to what the cosmos has to say to you.” He winked and grinned.
I headed to the ladies room to brush my hair and splash some water on my face, freshened up a bit.
The cosmos had spoken.
Linda Brooke Stabler, Ph.D.