It was almost midnight. I received a phone call from a friend, "Get over here as soon as you can, the cereus is blooming!" I grabbed my camera and hurried to my friend's garden. The cactus was pregnant with buds and blooms. So delicate. So beautiful. Cycle of life exampled once again.
A few days later I had breakfast with another friend. We talked about my session with the night-bloomer. She was reminded of a poem by Thomas Merton.
Excerpt from Merton's Night-Flowering Cactus:
I neither show my truth nor conceal it
My innocence is described dimly
Only by divine gift
As a white cavern without explanation.
The last few lines told the story of that night:
Have you seen it? Then though my mirth has quickly ended
You live forever in its echo:
You will never be the same.
I saw. I will never be the same.
*post dedicated to Monica Dahl and Jane Worth.