We have a rose variety in our backyard called “The Pilgrim”. This is a photo of its latest bloom, which graces passersby with a candy-sweet-almost-tastable fragrance. The Pilgrim is named after pilgrims in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, who swapped stories on their long journey.
A pilgrim seeks to find a bit of heaven on earth. Certainly this rose fits that description. Where in your life do you sense a sliver of bliss midst the ordinary?
Sometimes we go on pilgrimages in our dreams. I had a dream last night in which my aunt was caring for many children. One was a luminous little girl who received special guidance and encouragement from her older sister, who realized her giftedness.
The children went on a journey. After some travel, the little girl ascended a hill and sat down. She placed a white sheet over her head, which then draped her body. She used mud to make a faux beard for herself. She then gathered her congregation and became their rabbi.
She looked around at her siblings and gave them each a wafer of bread saying, “This wafer is heaven come down to earth to nourish you.”
My partner and I were watching the whole scene in my dream, and I heard a voice saying, “This is your something beautiful you have been looking for.” I woke up with tears of joy in my eyes.
Whether we go on a long pilgrimage or never leave home, the destination is the same. Our life journey’s goal is to find a little bit of heaven here on earth. We can search the world over, but if we don’t find it first and last within ourselves, it will always remain elusive.
Eventually, the end of all our wonderings is to realize that the heaven, the beauty, we have been searching for was in us all along. A dream or a fragrant rose can evoke the inner heaven, and we well up with tears of joy and break out in a smile.
But that bliss is present even on the most mundane of days. How do we access it? The better question is: how do we let it access us? Bliss is waiting to explode in us and through us every moment. When we lay down our fixed positions, stories, and strivings, the bliss naturally emerges. Even if we only bloom for a few moments, we will have become a bit of heaven on earth for ourselves and everyone around us.