The Flavor of Nectarines
Our lives are eternal when we are aware,
and our histories are less than dust when we are not.
Bite into a nectarine
and feel the sweet, fragrant juice
run down the sides of your mouth,
the soft flesh yielding to your tongue,
your fingers and lips
with the sweet kiss of succulent gratitude
from the orchards of late summer,
sending their seeds into the world –
wrapped in enticing nourishment.
Leaves quiver like petals of light,
a flickering translucence in the breeze,
like a cloud of butterflies
scintillating as a breath of sun.
Close your eyes,
run your tongue along your syrupy lips,
and inhale the sweet swollen fragrance released.
Breathe it deep, into your lungs, into your blood, into your mind,
and feel the sunlight sinking through your skin,
the faintest brush of air gliding over the back of your hand –
isn’t everything here?,
Who is it that is unable to find this?,
why is it necessary to search?
Is not God’s mercy great,
that in the farthest reaches
and briefest instants
even the least among us can find
the great bliss, the transforming grace?
Knowing what is right is embedded,
doing what is right is the test.
In the stilled mind
with no thought,
you know at any instant
what is right.
That is where God is.
For each, there comes a time to run,
a time to fight,
a time to stand,
and a time to abide.
When you release your desires, you lose your fear,
and find your self:
you transcend concepts and conventions,
you are released from your history,
and now, you are able to face death.
That is freedom in this world.
Once freed, your compassion is able to affect the lives of others.
This is peace.
3 September 2002