Sunday, 24 October 2010

Gratitude (to my family, friends, teachers and kind strangers... you are the nightingales in my life)

The Nightingale and the Rose
(Image by

That freezing night, one of the many that I've felt hopeless and lonesome, I let my doors wide open as if wanting the wind to blow me out of my world and dissolve my tears in faraway mists.

But instead of the wind, that same night, as if seeking shelter, a flock of birds flew into the wide room of my cold, trembling silence. One by one, they approached me and with their tiny peaks, they pierced my chest with hungry kindness.  Hungry for my aching love, for the sour nectar of my sadness, they perched my heart and drank the thirst of my solitude, of my abandonment.

And they sang and perched, and they perched and sang my song of hollow regrets and ancient sorrows.  With each note, they gently hushed the laments of my cracking voice.  And touch after touch after touch, the silence became all wings until it was not painful anymore.

That long night I made a promise to honour and not to taint the echo and the tunes of the breeze that carry the melodies of compassionate nightingales, who selflessly offered me their loving thirst to help me mend my broken dreams.  And ever since,  when I hear their harmonious notes,  my chest grows and blossoms into hundreds of splendorous roses, willingly offering to be perched once again.

Tonight, doors wide open, I stand fearless as I wave to the chilled blows of the passing wind.  I invite the nightingales in, so they can drink from the sweet and pouring gratitude of my garden, and find a home in the loving embrace of new-born red petals.

(This note has been inspired by the teachings of the Dharma and by Oscar Wilde's "The Nightingale and the Rose", but when searching for a suitable image, I learned that Florence Nightingale is the woman who is the mother of modern nursery and was a very caring person.  It is a beautiful coincidence!).

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