See if you can guess this riddle! It is stuck in the mud, surrounded by dirt and murk, yet it is a symbol of purity.
Congratulations, you guessed right. It is the humble water lily. If you consider the obstacles, unfavorable conditions and surroundings this plant lives in, it is no wonder why this undaunted little flower is a symbol of rebirth, new life, hope and purity in so many cultures and religions.
Irish poet Thomas Moore describes the daily birth and rebirth of the lotus flower in these words:
Those virgin lilies, all the night
Bathing their beauties in the lake,
That they may rise more fresh and bright,
When their beloved sun’s awake.
Author C.JoyBell compares the way the water lily emerges from mud and darkness to the light with spiritual transformation, it is like a “change that comes from the inside and begins it’s way out until it emerges on the outside.” She says, “A water lily is born underneath the water, inside the soil . . . And the water lily has always been a water lily for that whole time that it was sprouting out of the wet soil, reaching up through the dark water towards the sunlight, stretching and grasping for the surface; where it then buds and blooms on the outside in the sunshine.”
Looking at these beautiful lilies makes you forget about the darkness and the mud beneath them, you just enjoy their beauty.