A few days ago, I was walking down the paved road through a large coffee and banana plantation owned and maintained by the Jesuits in Kodaikanal. The road meanders from the Zen Center Bodhizendo down to the main thoroughfare below and ends at a small town called Peramalmallai.
MIxed in with the bananas and coffee beans were orange, pear, and majestic silver oak trees. The pear trees were starting to blossom, many white flowers were turning into baby pears. The orange trees have been picked at least once and many more hung on the trees, some were plump, ripe and ready to eat.
I was alone on the road that was lined on one side with a natural stone wall. I glanced up at the orange trees, and thought – It sure would be nice to have a nice juicy orange right now, maybe, hmm….maybe I could simply pick one? Oh my, aren’t you greedy, you just had breakfast, and besides these trees belong to the Jesuits. Let it go!
I kept walking, and really – seriously – within thirty seconds further down the road, I saw an orange lying smack in the middle of the roadway. And just because the thinking mind still had to have its doubt, I thought – Maybe it’d damaged, maybe the underside has been eaten and it is full of worms.
Nope! It was a delicious gift that I thoroughly relished!
And they often come that way – gifts – as we all know, but somehow again and again forget. It is when we let go and remain open, we can see the gifts all around us. And sometimes we even receive a strong reminder – in the small things such as an orange – that all is Perfection.
And to further the story…..just to show how dense my mind sludge can be. Again, two days later I walked the same road, and I started to contemplate the taste of an orange (the first one being such a treat! oh, the nature of desire!) I sat on the stone wall, all alone, listening to the birds and their ever-song of joy. I happened to glance over my shoulder and again, yep, another perfect orange, lying on top of fallen oak leaves. Thank you universe! Yum…..
Never before in the many times I have walked that road has an orange presented itself.
But really, was it an orange?
I rather feel it was Grace.