Thursday, May 22, 2014

Flowers Drifting in a Riverine Field

Spring Flowers in Edgewood Park

"Wisdom is the oneness of mind that guides and permeated all things."
Heraclitus fragment 41 (translated by Brooks Haxton) 
The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, grew up in the city of Ephesus, near the coast of present-day western Turkey. He is famously remembered for the quotable, "All things flow and nothing remains the same"--a different model of the universe from the more standard Platonic vision of reality of stable ideas behind appearances. Well, spring in Northern California, (probably quite like spring in Ephesus), shouts out Heraclitean. Spring is a process here; a rapid shift in blooming verdant grasses, embedded poppies and yellow florets of rock parsnip. If we liken ourselves to spring wildflowers, momentarily floating in grassy field, then the oneness of mind ferries us across the season. 
The Ohlone people lived near Edgewood Park and must have witnessed the many colored wisps of spring. An archaeological site at the nearby garish Filoli Mansion was home to an Ohlone group; did local and permanent opulence of Filoli supplant the seasonal and processual life of the Ohlone? Did we try to substitute Being for Becoming in California?
But our parks remain an ironic and enduring witness to natural process. Let us live in awareness of unifying wisdom, a wisdom through which we drift and are sustained and guided. An every changing field.

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