There are moments when the heart stops and the Universe takes over. Virginia Woolf called them “moments of being” and dedicated one of her autobiographical books to the matter. Time and space disappear and there is nothing but wonder, awe and, yes, love. It feels as if the heart would burst open and that there would be absolutely no problem with that. In that moment, one could just leave, there is nothing more to be had.
The strange thing about these moments is they don’t need an extraordinary happening to appear. It can be the slightest thing or nothing at all: a branch so delicately balanced with snow making a perfect yin/yang; an eggshell, or –as with me this morning- an old net bag of potatoes that had lain forgotten long enough to sprout. I pulled the bag out from the basket where it had been hidden and contemplated the five now-gone-soft potatoes. They were sprouting. Their sprouts, thick as a pinky finger and two to three centimeters long, pushing out at all angles with pointy beginning branches, ranged anywhere from white to maroon, including green. I could sense the very strength with which they squeezed through the orange netting, striving towards the light. In contrast to the mushiness of the mother potato, they were hard and sturdy, an enthusiastic expression of life. Suddenly, I was resonating with the life force they embodied; I was transfixed with love for these potatoes that sacrificing their edible bodies thrust forth their life for all they were worth. I saw the beauty, but much more than that, I became one with their invincible energy, their incredible miracle and for an instant that was eternal, we resonated, the potatoes and I, standing there in the middle of the kitchen, the limp bag stretched across my trembling palms, two as one, object and self as same, enveloped in the vibration of the Universe that transcended us both.
And then it was over. I walked to the garbage bin, opened the lid and deposited the rotting and rooting potatoes -sack, sprouts and all- inside. Yet as I write this, I relive the love; it lingers in my cells, vibrating with miraculous beauty: the Life Force, the creative power of life thrusting forth from soft, gentle mother-potatoes.