Tagore’s “Stream of Life” in My Garden

As sanitary confinement continues to be recommended in my city of San José and I stay home, I have turned to observe ever more carefully the minute details of living nature in my garden. I have discovered new beauties.

For example, I often appreciate the various species of orchids, the red passionflower, the magenta and yellow roses, and the white bougainvillea that bloom in my garden.


I also cherish the diversity of green, broad-leafed plants that grow in it, the vines that crawl up the fence, the flowering shrubs, and the gentle ferns that sway with the slightest breeze.

White petals, long and lean as fingers

But I have seldom stopped to regard the weeds that pop up without having been planted, or the tiny wildflowers that bloom freely and spontaneously. Now I realize that I have overlooked a world of wonder.

This morning, for instance, in the early hours when the sun crawling up the eastern sky did not yet shine on my garden, I stepped outside. And there, amidst the green grass and wild weeds, among fallen magenta rose petals, three tiny yellow flowers bloomed. The three yellow sisters were so simple in their joy that I had to stop, lean, and look very closely to regard their beauty. I did not even know their name.

As I observed them, I recalled these opening verses from “Song 69” in Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali:

“The same stream of life that runs through my veins night and day runs through the world and dances in rhythmic measures.

It is the same life that shoots in joy through the dust of the earth in numberless blades of grass and breaks into tumultuous waves of leaves and flowers.”

I felt at once connected to the tiny flowers, to the weeds, to the plants and shrubs, and to the natural life that pulsates through my garden. And I felt restored to wonder, to the continuity of Nature, to the unity of Life.

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