By Allen Gillespie

Recently, I was reading the book From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life by Arthur C. Brooks, and I found myself captivated by his wonderful description of a “Moonflower.”  Personally, I had never heard of a moonflower, but now I want to see one.

He writes, “Once my wife and I were at the home of close friends, eating and drinking out in their garden. It was dusk, and they asked us to gather around a plant with small, closed flowers. ‘Watch a flower,’ one of them instructed. We did so, for about ten minutes, in complete silence. All at once, the flowers popped open, which we learned they did every evening. We gasped in amazement and joy. It was a moment of intense satisfaction. But here’s the interesting thing: Unlike most of the junk on my old bucket list, that satisfaction endured. That memory still brings me joy…It was a tiny miracle that felt like a free gift, freely given.

The moonflower is commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions of North and South America. In the US, they are most commonly found in Arizona and Florida.

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