Water lilies have roots firmly entrenched in the muck and mud, but their beautiful, immaculate blossoms float on the water above. They are the nymphs of the pond, known for their loveliness and grace. As the light of day fades, they close only to be opened by the next day’s sun-rays. Recognized throughout the world as having deep spiritual significance, they are symbols of rebirth and second chances. Dreams filled with water lilies are associated with one’s revitalization after a time of trial.
In ancient Egypt, the lily, symbol of Upper Egypt, was teamed with the papyrus flower, the symbol of Lower Egypt, to denote a united country. Religious iconography of this flower revolved around creation/origin stories. Also, the pillars of the temples in ancient Egypt were in the shape of lily flowers, blossoming from the soil.
According to Buddhism, enlightenment is associated with water lilies. Different colored water lilies have different powers and meanings. A red lily connotes love and passion, and is considered to be the lotus of the heart. The purple lily represents mystic power, while the white lily is mental purity. The highest deity is represented with a pink lily, and blue lilies are associated with knowledge.
The water lily belongs to the Nymphaeaceae family. According to Greek mythology, ‘nymph’ is the supernatural feminine that inhabited bodies of water. Perhaps this is why they captivate the hearts of every onlooker. In fact, I am finding the need for such warming of my own heart these days given our present political climate, so cold in its attitude toward those regarded as having lesser value. The under belly of our democracy seems a little murky. It is not the rich nutritious mud that provides nourishment for ever-growing beauty and life, but is simply crud that seems to be rooted in greed infused with racism, sexism and dominator mentality.
This past week, 61 year-old Code Pink crone, Desiree Fairooz, was found guilty of two counts of unlawful conduct on capitol grounds. She could face up to a year in jail and hundreds of dollars of fines. In January she was sitting in on the hearings to appoint Jeff Sessions as attorney general. When Republican Sen. Richard Shelby referred to Sessions’ “extensive record of treating all Americans equally under the law,” she laughed. That laughter lasted only three seconds, but she was removed from the hearing. When the police officer hauled Fairooz out of the room she shouted, “Why am I being taken out of here? This man is evil.”
For decades protectors, protestors and hecklers have been showing up at such hearings. Their voices have been the voices of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Tea-partiers and others. Many of them have been ejected. But few, if any, are prosecuted, especially with such vengeance.
We need the wisdom and the beauty of the water lilies to enlighten our paths and blossom in our hearts! The water lily keeps its watery home clean. Moreover, it protects from predators the diverse inhabitants, the many small fishes and aquatic animals, living in her waters. In the same way, we need our government officials to be protectors, not predators, of the people and the environs in which we live.