After a long day of staring at my computer screen, I walked outside to my apartment complex’s terrace where something caught my eye. Leaning against the far wall beneath an overhang is a bag of detritus. It’s filled with dirt and pine needles and everything workmen scooped out of our gutters from at least eight months ago, if not longer. Do you know what was spilling out of that bag?
A well-developed nasturtium vine. There are so many things about this that are astounding. Number one, I’m on that terrace every few days watering my plants. How did I not notice it before? And number two, it hasn’t rained here in MONTHS. How did that nasturtium vine survive?!? It’s not like any of my neighbors were watering a bag of soil in an attempt to keep a plant alive. And yet, not only did it survive, it thrived as you can see in the picture.
When I saw this plant, I literally laughed out loud because it was so unexpected and also miraculous. It reminded me that miracles are everywhere if we look for them. Miracles often have the connotation of being something big and obvious, but they can also be small and discreet, like this nasturtium vine.
I could use more miracles in my life. It’s easy for me to become disheartened by the ever-present pessimism in the news. Fires leveling towns. Floods. Famines. It’s a lot. And yet, if I look around, I also see evidence of miracles. Back in November, scientists captured footage of the black-naped pheasant-pigeon, which hadn’t been seen since 1882! In Brazil, the Golden Lion Tamarin used to be on the brink of extinction with about 200 animals in the wild, but the population has rebounded to around 4,800, according to a recent study.
Miracles happen every day with people surviving deathly car crashes, or getting pregnant when they thought they were infertile, or walking again when they were told it was impossible. It’s easy to think, “Well, that wouldn’t happen to me,” but what if it could? What if you could also receive a miracle? And like me with the nasturtium plant, what if miracles are all around and we’re just not noticing them?
Given the choice between a world where we’re all doomed and one where miracles take place, I vote for the latter. It reminds me of a concept we have in my spiritual tradition called madhuvidyá, which literally means “honey knowledge.” It requires seeing everything as an expression of an infinite loving consciousness, also known as Brahma. My spiritual teacher says, “This madhuvidyá will pervade your exterior and interior with … [ecstasy] and will permanently alleviate all your afflictions. Then the ferocious jaws of [degeneration] cannot come and devour you. The glory of one and only one benign entity will shine forth to you from one and all objects.”
That may not seem relevant but for me, practicing madhuvidyá means remembering God is here, there, and everywhere. And because everything is Brahma, everything is a manifestation of that infinite loving consciousness, then OF COURSE miracles are everywhere. How could they not be?
I dream of a world where we recognize the strange and the unlikely occurs all the time. A world where we make room for magic and mystery. A world where we understand this entire universe is composed of an infinite loving consciousness and from that place, we recognize miracles are everywhere.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.