What is of all things most yielding
Can overcome that which is most hard,
Being substanceless, it can enter in
even where there is no crevice.
That is how I know the value
of action which is actionless.
But that there can be teaching without words,
Value in action which is actionless
Few indeed can understand.
An owl sat once with his sharp hearing, his watchfulness,
his bill, half-grown, majestic on my finger;
then I felt his huge and yellow stare
plant something foreign in me, a deep quiet,
a mad freedom; my heart laughed
when the bird raised his soft wings.
Thorkild Bjornvig, B. 1918, From “The Owl”
Today I saw a red kite flying close to the house here in the Black Forest. A rare sight. This quote from a longer poem strikes a cord. Once I met an owl, twice actually, and each time I was struck deeply by the depth of their presence.
Found two lilies open in the very shallow inlet of the meadow. Exquisitely beautiful, and unlike anything else we have, is the first white Lily just expanded in some shallow lagoon where the water is leaving it, – perfectly fresh and pure, before the insects have discovered it.
How admirable its purity! How innocently sweet its fragrance! How significant that the rich, black mud of our dead stream produces the water-lily, – out of that fertile slime springs this spotless purity! It is remarkable that those flowers which are most emblematical of purity should grow in the mud.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)
Thanks to the reader who emailed me this most wonderful image of tulips. Rare beauties!