Remembering …

The Moonflowers – How beautiful they were!                                                                   Posted May 21st 2019

” They were creepers. Wrapped themselves around what ever was within reach. These particular ones were outside the chapel in Serabu climbing up the pole supporting the roof of the veranda above.

During the day they appeared like little rolled up umbrellas and just as night fell at ‘the moth hour of eve’, movement could be perceived. It happened somewhere between 6.30 and 7 pm as we made our way to chapel for evening prayer. Evening prayer or Vespers as it used to be called was at six forty five. But in front of this spectacle we could hardly move for magic. We had become children again savoring once more that wonder that gladdened our childhood. We stayed watching, waiting, as little by little the umbrellas unfurled in front of our eyes and at a moment – their moment – they flashed open and released into the air the most wonderful fragrance I know of, gentle, sweet, tender.


Moon Flowers had already enchanted us in germination. When planted it took no more than 4 or 5 days for a delicate stem,  translucent green,  to appear, the seed sitting jauntily on the side of the new head. Later as the seed  opened it was seen clasping  two tender green leaves, clinging tightly to each other. As the seed fell away they opened eagerly to the sun and were on their way to stop two nuns in their tracks, one purple evening, weeks later, on our way to chapel.   

‘Unless the grain of wheat falling into the earth itself dies…’  And what mysterious creative energy exists in the deep, dark silence of the  earth!
And for those who gazed?   As the great German poet Rilke would have it:

          All becoming has needed me.

          My looking ripens things                                              

          and they come towards me to meet and be met.