Feed Your Soul
Saadi spoke of how to nourish the spirit, and it wasn’t by prayer, fasting, worship or pilgrimages. Devoid of these and other visible signs of piety, a healthy saint is like an iceberg of which 90% is hidden beneath the sea. The sanctity of an authentically holy person is mostly hidden under the ordinariness of their lives, but like icebergs what is unseen is what makes them potent in a society.
In his The Rose Garden, Saadi of Shiraz gives an unusual but strong source of nourishment for your inner life: “If your mortal goods are none, and in your storeroom there are only left two loaves of bread, sell one and with the money you receive buy hyacinths to feed your soul.” But isn’t buying flowers when you’re in poverty absurd squandering? To see a vase of purchased flowers in a poor home reminds me of a saying about lace-curtain Irish: “They have fruit in the house and no one is sick!” Saadi’s equivalent is: “They are poor as church mice, yet they have flowers in the house when no one has died!”
Beautiful flowers, poetry, music, art and the majesty of creation are high protein soul foods which deeply influence your inner life. The pious may say, “Hyacinths do not save your soul!”—and the reply is, “Perhaps, but they certainly make it worth saving.”
Today, regardless how few your coins, spurge on your spirit!