I have this practice. Whenever I go grocery shopping, my first stop is the fresh flowers. I go there and renew. I do my deep breathing – taking in the fresh prana – inhaling the loveliness – releasing my cares and concerns of the day. Sometimes I remain there with my eyes closed – doing a standing meditation - breathing in the flower freshness for what feels like forever. In these minutes I recover from all that life has asked of me that day.
I got touched by some tulips today. Pale, pink and obvious. Tulips – in February – in Chicago – in the grocery store – on the south side - come on now! Delicate. Full, Open. Arranged in a relaxed bunch of nothing but tulips. Bound by a thin rubber band and cellophane. Gracefully arched in one direction. Blossoms like little pillows taking a nap on one another. They whispered my name and asked me to come a little closer. And I did. What tulip magic overcame me, right there, next to the strawberries, in the flower section, in the grocery store today.
I looked inside. The pistol formed like a three-pointed star in the emerging night sky. The interior all painted in antique white, goldenrod, yellow and green – stunning and natural - as if anything else was possible. They looked back at me – these tulips – I swear. I couldn’t contain myself. I just started laughing out loud I was so happy. I didn’t care what anybody thought – me and these tulips were having a moment.
Carl Sandburg said, “Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.” Well, I placed my hands on those happy pink tulips and caught their joy and made it mine. Whatever happens to those tulips in their natural life, may they rest in peace because they are part of me now. And I have passed them on to you and to everyone who caught a glimpse of my best smile today.
Catching this happiness didn’t cost me anything. I just had to stop and notice. Like the breath, those tulips were just there, sitting in their little bucket of water, leaning to the right, being themselves. But in the moment of my beholding them, I caught their joy – and that made all the difference.
May you catch some happiness today.