The Seventh Leaf

The Seventh Leaf

Petals of the lotus bloom
Unfold, warmed by the sun
Nothing hidden
Pushing upward
Through the mud
And still water
Broad leaves wide open
Like palms
Upturned to the sky
Cradling the morning dew
Like jewels
While the dragonflies
Dip and skim
Across the water’s serene face


We don’t begin our lives as the bloom, but as the sleeping seed in the mud – deep beneath the surface, waiting for the right moment to reach out, to grow and unfold. We are born with everything we need to live our lives completely – these words and ideas have been written over and over before for thousands of years, in hundreds of different languages and forms. The irony of course is that it isn’t until we, as an individual, start to really experience this in an authentic way that we are able to deeply understand what it means. We don’t begin with the task completed, knowing all of the right tools for us to use in order to unlock the truth within ourselves, but we begin to learn from the moment that we are born. The tools that we learn to use are unique to each of us. What works in my life, for example – the accumulation of ideas and experiences from my own life are unique to me – I can’t be living someone else’s life, no more than anyone else can live mine. This is not to say that there are not similarities between people – we count on those similarities to remind us that we are never alone.

In any given pond, a few dozen to a few hundred lotus plants can live and bloom. The mechanics of a pond system are complex, and a pond will only be able to sustain a certain amount of wildlife, floral and fauna and aquatic life in order to remain healthy and vibrant. All the lotus live and bloom together, each part of the same family, sharing characteristics and growth processes that are similar if not in some cases identical. Each in turn has functional part of the ecosystem in which they live, and are intimately connected. Like each lotus, we are part of the whole – perfect in our own birth, waiting to bloom from the depths of the mud to be an effortless part of the whole.

Imagine the lotus we are has seven petals or leaves. When the first petal unfolds, the core is still tightly wrapped in petals and husk – almost entirely protected and concealed from the outside world. In the right circumstances, with the sun to warm the broad leaves to aid in the generation of the necessary food for the entire plant to live, with the right amount of nutrients in the soil, the right temperature and finally the right amount of time, the lotus bloom begins to unfold more and more.

The second petal opens just wide enough for the dragonfly to rest on its delicate edge. The third petal opens the bloom even further allowing the rain to collect in its soft curves. The fourth petal opens to be kissed by the warm summer breezes that are gently rocking this newborn in its invisible arms. The opening of the fifth petal brings a new kind of confidence to the bloom – a curiosity about the world, a yearning to know more. The sixth petal, and perhaps the most dangerous of moments, reveals almost completely now the centre of the lotus – the precious seed pod of the full lotus bloom. The thirst for understanding the surrounding world can be so overwhelming during this time, despite the fullness of the bloom, and having almost reached the pinnacle of its life before beginning to decline again for another season. There is a fragility in the opening of the sixth petal that is often overlooked, taken for granted or simply ignored in this rush to reach the zenith. But, it is in the final petal, when every part of the lotus bloom is exposed finally that the lotus is completely know for what it is. The seventh petal is captured in a perfect moment, where the bloom moves in harmony with every other breeze, every flap of wing, every raindrop, every ray of sunshine and every kiss of moonlight. This is why the lotus grows up from the mud – for the seventh leaf to unfold.


born of someone else’s dream – a thought
with strong wings that flew
flew from the most beautiful of souls
to my quiet ears
I was like the ground
Filled with rain after the storm
The seed long since planted
Found its feet deep below
Born and left sleeping
Until now

Leigh-Anne Tyson


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