The world as a miraculous place of life, death and renewal. It is a home for impeccable balancing acts of inhale and exhale, yin and yang, within and without, Equinox and Solstice. The ongoing, irrefutable balancing happens under our noses in endlessly magical stories. To celebrate the Vernal Equinox, here is a golden tale to capture your imagination, balancing tragedy with greatness.
Did you know that the Mangrove Tree, of which there are around 80 species, grows primarily in swampy, tropical salt bayous. Some within this species are capable of filtering out 75% of salt in the water. In the Turks and Caicos, it is rumored that one of the Mangrove species bears a single golden leaf on each of its branches, which sucks in the remaining 25% of saline which the tree cannot tolerate. Imagistically, and imaginatively, each golden leaf has chosen to turn its life into an aurulent, shinning death in order for the tree to live. It makes of itself an offering to guarantee survival, despite the extreme eco system. Once the leaf has absorbed the salty elixir of death, it makes of itself an offering, not only to the tree, but to the aquatic life below, which depends on the golden leaves for nourishment.
I am reminded of Mary Oliver’s line from “The Buddha’s Last Instruction” “Make of yourself a light.” A life worth living does make of itself a light. It is a golden offering that others might be nurtured and live. It does not have to be a huge sacrifice, or a ‘published’ life to be golden. But it might be.
Because the school shootings are high on the radar, I have taken some comfort in imagining that the careless destruction of precious lives is not a waste, that perhaps their souls had chosen to become golden offerings. They have made of themselves a light so the rest of us could see. Their gift may be a prayer of courage, and comfort for us to stand for them. Now it is our turn to carry the torch, and grow golden. If not, their waste is not bearable.
At this transformational turning point of the Equinox, let us transmute dross into gold. We can be a conscious choice to embody spring’s greater light. Who doesn’t want to be rich, honeyed, redolent and resplendent? We have life to offer. We have a life to save.