That which whispered to the rose and made it unfold.

–Rumi

What makes the rose unfold?

It’s the same thing that makes any of us unfold.

We can stare at a rose for hours, watch the blossom open up – and if we try to force or restrain it in any way, we kill it.  How does it know when the time is right, and what does it hear to let it know to open?

I think it’s something large enough it can’t be held by itself in any thing.  Words, music, compassionate closeness – they all point to it or have a portion of it in themselves, but none of them are big enough to hold the whisper.  But somehow, the whisper is still there.

Rumi, who shared “religion behind religion”, knew the whisper.  It’s not in any one language, written in any one book, or sung by any one choir – the whisper, as Samuel said, is a still, small voice after the storm, perfectly mild, but is much greater than any single expression.

Another poem, read by Coleman Barks:

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