Why The Lotus Blooms on the Nile
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
A MAN stood one day on the banks of the Blue-Nile, and gazed long and lovingly on the white and golden scene of beauty with which the lotus crowned the river with glory. "Do you know," said his Arab guide, "why that heavenly blossom grows in this turbid stream ?" " I suppose it is because God so ordered it," he answered in simple faith. The Arab bowed low toward Mecca and continued. " Once there was no flower growing along the banks of these waters, and a little child lay dying on the sands, who lifted her eyes toward the sacred mountains, and breathed this prayer : ` Great Allah, lover of all that is good and best, I have done nothing in this life of mine, so soon to end on earth, grant when I die, that I may help a little in thy work with men.' And so her prayer was answered, and ever since, this heavenly child, when the tide of the Nile goes down, scatters lotus seeds along the river bank, and they spring into life and burst into loveliness, seeming to say, ` God is God and Mahomet is his prophet.' "
Along the streams of time there are flowers blooming which have grown from seeds scattered by the fingers of the darling little ones who have gone away from us to heaven. From the singular beauty of the flowers, and the delicious fragrance which they breathe, we know that the seeds from which they have sprung belong to another world.
One moonlight night I was walking with a gentleman friend when he said to me, " I had a little brother whom I loved better than my life. We were together almost every waking hour at home, school and play. We went to the millpond one evening for a swim, and my brother got beyond his depth and was drowned. We were all crazy with grief. He was my partner and pet and I fairly cried my eyes out in my loneliness. It seemed as though no one else was living and that I had nothing more to live for. After suffering this agony for some time I had a dream one night. In it my brother came back to me. His clothing was so beautiful, and his face was lovely beyond expression. His face was all that could be desired by me, but it had gotten an added beauty in the realm from which he came. He said to me, ` Brother, I asked my Heavenly Father to let me come back to you and tell you not to cry any more for me. I live in such a. lovely place, and am so happy, that you must rejoice and not shed tears when you think of me. Promise me that you will not cry any more, and that you will be a good boy and join me again. The good old times we had together are only the beginning of the glorious times we will have together forever.' I promised him, and he put his arms about my neck and kissed me and went away from me. When I awoke the next morning much of my heart-sickness was gone, and instead of crying, I rejoiced that brother was in such a happy place and that I should be with him again." I told my friend the Arab's story of the origin of the lotus flower, and said, " Your brother came from the other world to scatter seeds in the river's edge to bring forth lovely flowers for you."