One lonely frangipani flower lies at the toes of a griffin carved in stone. A monkey statue has two red hibiscus flowers sticking out behind its ears. A buddha blesses a fresh, sun-orange marigold in his hand. On Bali, no flower lies anywhere by chance.
Every flower has a purpose. Godly forces and beings are everywhere, and everything man-made has a religious purpose or has been blessed for its proper use. And the lotus flower is the most sacred of all. It grows in every little pond and pot by the door, with its feet in the mud and its flower held high.
There is much muddy water in this world. Most of us wade or swim through it without ever knowing better. We forget what it was like to be a child and to skip on the surface, feet barely touching the dirt below. The lotus has realized that barely floating is not the best salvation: only by rooting into the mud it is possible to stretch and reach above it, and to enjoy the pure air and sunlight.
Standing by a lotus pond in Ubud I was wishing that I could grow lotuses home in Helsinki, too, as a reminder of what is within my reach, if I only remember how to reach for it.