He did not announce himself thus, but came in the role of a helper with household things, a skilled artisan with a fine eye for beauty, a sensitive nature, and a gentle way of speaking. His hair was gray but his step was sprightly, and there was a certain sparkle in his eyes that made him look youthful, even childlike.
When I speak with someone, I am engaged in an act of love, wanting to know more, to share more, and to encourage more of what is deepest in the other's heart. The content may be about anything. The purpose is what is important.
And so a passing comment led me to understand that this man was one who offered his heart's wisdom through classes he gave on butterflies and bees, and who had a deep caring for the Earth. This caring took the form of letting people know about 'pollinators' - those winged creatures that travel from flower to flower and plant to plant carrying the powdery substance that enables plants to reproduce. He conveyed in his way of speaking how important butterflies and bees are to the food chain and to the ecology of a habitat, and how important it is that human beings become more aware of the current threat to the lives of these beautiful creatures. This threat could be reduced if many were to begin to cultivate their own natural gardens, produce their own food, and in this way assist with the renewal of ‘at risk’ species and with the restoration of the health of a habitat.
This was not what he said. It was behind what he said.
As I listened, my ears heard words and content, but more than that, I witnessed the great beauty of the soul of one whose spiritual path had taken him in the direction of nature study - his commitment to Life expressed as a commitment to the life of the Earth. This was his path to the Divine and to the sacred – not just the Divine beyond the Earth but the Divine within the Earth. Attention to this sector of reality was a calling at the deepest level, accompanied by a need to help awaken others to the plight of a planet and the importance of existing in harmony with nature.
Each person has such a passion and such a callling. Each has something within themselves that makes the heart sing and is a path to the Divine. Sometimes these inner loves are revealed nakedly and unashamedly, and sometimes they are concealed behind more practical and ordinary concerns.
Each person's heart has a secret tenderness, a secret song to which it beats more strongly. It may be something the world would deem worthy and important such as love for family and children, or it may be something that is less ordinary such as love for swimming, or mountain climbing, or for the world of insects. The passion of the heart, in its deepest root, is the gateway to the soul. And every heart has such a gateway. Every heart has its own version of a love for butterflies that one can join with and celebrate as part of the great beauty of human expression. This inner song, whether revealed outwardly or not, gives life to an individual life. It is the secret treasure that warms the heart and nourishes the entire being.