Meditations of an Old Surveyor

By Willis M. MacCoy

The other morning as I sat in my patio "thinking chair,'' contemplating the implications and significance of my research in basic mathematics of the last few years, my wife, who had been up earlier, remarked that two iris had bloomed. This is a variety commonly called "poor man's orchid,'' and they had begun to thrive last year, only after several seasons of loving care.
The two blooms were hidden behind an ivy-covered post, so I hadn't noticed them, but I shifted my attention to the tight, green encased bud I had seen yesterday, and which I had rather anticipated would open in another day.

There was a light cloud cover, and I observed that the bud, in its green jacket, had swelled somewhat, but was still waiting for the stimulation of the direct sun. Presently, a shaft of sunlight penetrated the area, but the bamboo overhead slats still left my bud in shadow. Yet, in a few minutes, its tip was touched for a moment by a ray, and immediately one petal broke loose, and like an arm reaching out to the sun, it slowly emerged.

With a series of intermittent cloud cover and touches of sunlight, the bud opened bit by bit. I waited and watched, almost breathlessly, indeed reverently, for the consummation of this beautiful unfoldment of an inner mystery.

But this did not occur in a characteristic explosive manner. It must have taken an hour and a half of alternating shadow and streaming sun rays before my precious "orchid'' attained its complete expression of fulfillment in its immediate destiny.

What a miracle, I thought, to actually observe such a delicate and lovely structure, unfolding from a blueprint by a master architect and engineer and, in the process, monitored and energized by an influence generated ninety three million miles out in space! One wonders if nature is giving us a hint of cosmic law, resident in ourselves and in all things.

  • (Reprinted from Sunrise magazine, June/July, 1976 Copyright © Theosophical University Press)

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