The Pulse of Life

By Lo Guest

Once again the time had come to start another day. It was not a good morning: I had slept badly; outside, the sky was grey and the air chilly.

Reluctantly I tried to clear my head and mentally organize my day, but the prospect of the work to be done during the next few hours did nothing to cheer me up. There appeared to be a lot more dull, routine work than could be fitted into the hours available. I collected the morning paper, took a cup of coffee from the kitchen and sat down to read the news before starting to work. The headlines and commentary were full of the increase of violence, corruption, and economic depression in our world. The news was even more glum than my mood.

Out of the corner of my eye a slight movement on the table caught my attention. Putting down the paper I saw a tiny moth fluttering on the tablecloth. The poor little thing must have got into the house the previous day, had settled overnight on the flowers standing in a vase on the table, and was now nearly exhausted by its struggle to escape.

Carefully I picked up the tiny creature between my thumb and forefinger to carry it outside and set it free in the garden. Walking the short distance through the house, a few seconds of my lifetime unexpectedly took on a tremendous importance. As I held the little moth lightly, it kept moving its tiny wings and I was suddenly aware that the flutter of the moth's wings seemed to match my own pulsebeat. Small as they were, the movements of the moth filled my whole consciousness, and for one rare moment the beat of its wings and my own pulse appeared to be part of the Pulse of Life of this whole world, whose steady rhythm nothing can destroy and of which we all are a part.

I soon reached the garden and released the moth, which instantly fluttered away, and the thread that had linked me for a moment of awareness with the Oneness of Life was broken, but the memory of it remains.

Like a miracle, my glum mood had disappeared. Life was once more a challenge of expectations even though I faced the prospect of dull routine.

(From Sunrise magazine, February 1980. Copyright © 1980 by Theosophical University Press)

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