Poem: The Pearl
A tender, green shoot...
I have a precious secret,
It is a tender, green shoot
Standing alone in the Light;
A seed of promise buried
Deep within the womb of potential.
Fragile and fresh, it requires
All of my attention, love and protection
To keep it safe from disregard.
Steadfastness is the sentry that guards
Against the noisy clamoring of distraction;
Clawing to rip away the Pearl
Embedded in velvet stillness.
I have a precious secret,
It lies within my heart;
Showered by joy,
it grows amidst pink petals of love.
November 4, 2009
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The history of the making of this poem:
I decided to post this poem today because it was written on this date three years ago.
I remember the circumstances clearly: I was on my spiritual retreat and through the daily exercises and meditation practices I felt a shift within my heart that was profound and unmistakable. I felt my heart space open wide and was aware of how vulnerable and exposed I felt, yet quiet and contemplative. It was as if I had a special secret that only I knew…and I can only compare that to when I was first aware that I was pregnant for the first time-without a doctor or pregnancy test validating it. It is a knowing; a stirring within the soul.
Other people commented on my changed affect and demeanor within the group. Later, as I sat in meditation a visual image of a tender new shoot of plant life came forth. The green was a deep, healthy and prominent color. In the spiritual work that I do the color green represents compassion. It is a personal essence that is within each of us and we can all connect with that part of ourselves as we become sensitive and aware of when we are kind, tender or empathetic towards another living thing. This is part of what Hameed Ali has studied and written about through his Diamond Heart series. It is the spiritual path that I follow.
As I sensed into the tender green shoot I became aware of the love that I felt that filled my heart space. The personal essence of love shows up in soft pink. In addition to that, yellow joy filled my chest and I felt light, loving and tender all at the same time.
This sensation continued as the retreat ended and I returned to my work. However, as I resumed my daily living schedule I was aware of how many distractions that arise each moment of each day that pulls our attention from the place within-our soul. I was vigilant not to allow that to happen to this tender shoot that had appeared during the break from routine.
Explanation of particular lines and words used
I began to write the poem from the effect that the shift had occurred-noticing the ‘secret’ within and realizing how precious it was. In Hameed’s book, The Pearl beyond price, he writes of the representation of the soul as the Pearl within each of us. I mention the Pearl in this poem because it is an important aspect of what had occurred during the retreat-the recognition at a deeper level of that Pearl within my own self.
The line, ‘to keep it safe from disregard’ was especially important for me to add. It acknowledges the fact that we often are touched by a Divine Grace that we can brush off as not being real, or a silly feeling, or perhaps as a wonderful experience, but merely an experience-not the reality of our Being. For me to write this out confirmed that I validated this was not something to be taken lightly. Thus, the added words of, ‘protection’, ‘guards’, and ‘steadfastness’.
Finally, the two lines, ‘a seed of promise buried deep within the womb of potential’, acknowledges that we all are living potentiality. Again, when our ears are deaf from the noisy clamors of the world around us, and our eyes blind to what can only be sensed within, we often miss the very beginning of what our own greatness is…the nudging of that seed poking itself out into the sun, attempting to get our attention. And, once it has gotten our attention, to grow without the trampling of skepticism and harshness from the world around us.