If you want to be filled up and cleared out by the power and beauty of orange-ness, I highly recommend a trip to the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve. I had never seen such a dense carpet of flowers.
My mom and I visited last weekend along with thousands of people wending their way along the paths. “They’ve all come to receive a blessing, whether they know it or not,” Mom said. The wind was whipping the poppies about, and I thought, perhaps they’re prayer flags. Maybe each petal sends a message to the Divine every time it flutters back and forth.
A few days later an interior knowing arrived: we are not here to improve—not ourselves, not the world. Along with this thought came a feeling of a layer lifting and beneath it a joyful thrumming of life was released.
The Tao Te Ching says, “The universe is sacred./ You cannot improve it.”
How can this be given climate change, racism, poverty? What are we to make of the reality that some people appear to live into their full potential and others are destroyed by life? Don’t we need to work toward changing these conditions?
Of course we do, and yet some years the hills are blanketed with poppies, and some years the rain doesn’t fall. Some days everything we touch turns to gold, and some days it all ends up in the trash can. “Sometimes breathing is hard, sometimes it comes easily.”
Far more important than improvement is to allow ourselves to be the blessing that we are, to allow the wind to blow through us and spread our beauty and love to those around us. We can live in that joyful thrumming on the easy days and the hard.
This sacred universe is evolving. We participate in that process, but we don’t make it happen. We are the doors through which evolution passes, but we don’t initiate the transformation. “If you try to change [the universe], you will ruin it.”