The Fellowship of Roses: A cultivation of earth, spirit, and community

Community does not descend down from heaven. We have to shape it right here on Earth …

The 13th century, Sa‘di’s Rose garden, is the masterpiece of Persian prose. In the text, the great poet Sa‘di talks about a person having … a dialogue with the piece of clay …

“I am just a humble piece of clay.
But for a day or two
I’ve kept the fellowship of roses.

It’s their companionship
that has had an impact on me.
Otherwise, I am just ordinary clay.”

… In Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions, the clay refers, of course, to the earth/dust material that we as human beings are created from … What makes us become human is that the clay becomes suffused with spirit … Or, rather, the fellowship of the roses is what makes the spirit real. Which brings me back to community, that perpetual quest for a sense of fellowship … Community is an almost alchemical reaction that happens among all that we are capable of being and becoming.

Seeking Community Here and Now | Omid Safi