In two days time, on 17 December, I wonder how many will remember the anniversary of the death of Mowlānā Jalāloddin Balkhi, known in Persia as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī and in the West simply as Rumi. He died hundreds of years ago, back in 1273.
What Was Told, That
by Jalal al-Din Rumi
translated by Coleman Barks
What was said to the rose that made it open was said to me here in my chest. What was told the cypress that made it strong and straight, what was whispered the jasmine so it is what it is, whatever made sugarcane sweet, whatever was said to the inhabitants of the town of Chigil in Turkestan that makes them so handsome, whatever lets the pomegranate flower blush like a human face, that is being said to me now. I blush. Whatever put eloquence in language, that's happening here. The great warehouse doors open; I fill with gratitude, chewing a piece of sugarcane, in love with the one to whom every that belongs!
And it reminded me, for the fifty millionth time, how important our words are. What we might think of as a throwaway comment could do untold good (or bad) to another. Innocent remarks repeated out of context can do serious damage. And quiet, thoughtful appreciation, if given voice to, can mend the most damaged of souls.