Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Love of Flowers

It seems to me now as though I have always loved flowers. Some of my earliest memories go back to my very early childhood and the experiences I had in and around fresh flowers. It did not matter whether or not they grew wild and free in fields or under the tender care of my grandmothers and their little gardens.

Most importantly I remember how my Mother reacted when the first spring flowers blossomed. How much she enjoyed picking tulips and the aroma they gave off when sitting in little glass vases in our home.

If there is anything that is naturally beautiful in the world around us it has to be flowers. My spiritual name, 'Utpal', means Heart Lotus. When my spiritual teacher gave me this name to me many years ago, it seemed to me to be just perfect name for me. I realized within and without that I was a flower and I had a deep inner connection to Beauty itself.

Flowers never have to explain their beauty, it just is. Sometimes for just a few hours and sometimes the hardy ones can be beautiful and fragrant and share their glories for weeks at a time.

There may be some deep and useful significance to their radiant colors and charm but often it seems as though they exist soley to inspire us and give us joy.

Today is my Mother's birthday and I wanted to do something special for her even though I am 10,000 miles away. It is not easy to call from so far and even harder to send a gift. Therefore I thought she might like an offering of Balinese flowers. It seems that I have spent a lot of time over the past 2 weeks being a journalist but there should always be time for a son to do something significant for his Mother, especially when it is her birthday.
I started collecting flower pictures from the moment I started shooting here. I will never be able to capture images of all the incredible variety of flowers that grow here, but before you know it you can see lots and lots.

O Silence-flowers, smile;

My inner eyes are ready.

O Silence-stars, dance;

My inner heart is ready.

O Silence-sky, come;

My inner body is ready.

Excerpt from The Wings Of Light, Part 17 by Sri Chinmoy.

As I was collecting these many flower pictures to share with my Mother I realized of course, that as many beautiful things there are in the world, we will only ever have one Mother. I know how much love she felt for her own Mother and I hope she knows just how much I love her as well.

The master photo journalist had limited success with his uncooperative monkey subjects. They were reluctant most of the time to be cute or just look right for the camera. Never once did a flower have an attitude. They were always beautiful, no matter how grand or small they were.

Some flowers, like the hibiscus, are very familiar to my northern eyes. I even try and grow them myself but they will never look as sweet as the ones that grow wild and free here. Even the ones past their prime still look wonderful. I am past my prime and I wish I was this charming.

Do not allow

Your heart's beauty-flowers to dry.

These flowers will grant you

Divinity's liberation-breath.

Excerpt from Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 103 by Sri Chinmoy.
My parents have traveled to many parts of Asia. As I walk through the temple gardens and parks I imagine sometimes that they have walked here as well. Even if they have not, I still believe in the heart's capacity for oneness. That we can always share positive uplifting and beautiful experiences through our heart's oneness.

Only if peace-heart-flowers

Blossom everywhere

Will perfection be possible

On earthly soil.

Excerpt from Peace-Blossom-Fragrance, Part 2 by Sri Chinmoy.

The lotus flower of course is my favorite. I am not certain what my Mother's favorite flower is but I will always remember her wearing fresh sweet pea flowers in her hair in summer when she would visit her own Mother in the small country village where she lived.


The human mother tells the child,

"Look up! There is the truth."

The divine Mother tells the child,

"Look within! There alone

Is the beauty of truth."

Excerpt from Silence-Seed And Sound-Fruit by Sri Chinmoy.

Surely there is never enough of what one can do for their Mothers. Is there any way to repay all the care and love they have given their children over the years, and even now continue to give and give? The answer is no never

I am offering her some humble pictures of flowers. My words will never be strong enough, my images never as beautiful as all the love she has selflessly and has continuously offered to me.

Life-flower quickly fades.

Friend-bond quickly breaks.

God-Love quickly dawns.

Ecstasy all-where pervades.

Excerpt from From The Source To The Source by Sri Chinmoy.


Alf said...

I am deeply impressed by your prolific vision.

Alf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ahelee said...

Beautiful offering Utpal.
The sudden wash of fragrance from a flower seems truely a gift from a loving soul.
I often feel it is Guru or my own Mother.
If I only knew. But its' sweetness is my consolation.

Anonymous said...

nice to see a pro-flower post after having finished Valentine's Day in the flower industry. reminds one of why all the trouble. it's about the beauty.... man... the beauty!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!