In the forest, leaves are always falling. Butterflies flit through, and colorful leaves tumble to the forest floor. Tomorrow, or perhaps this moment, new ones unfurl.

Continually the letting go of life prepares the way for further fruitfulness. Leaves become soil; earth nurtures seeds; trees sprout and leaves and fruit surge into abundance, death and life.

Each seed knows its own fruition; deeply embedded meaning and purpose make their way forth into the fingertips of branches longing for light and air, moisture and space. Openings emerge, blossom in momentary splendor, and drop to earth, allowing new seeds to mature. After the blossoming comes the bowing so that further fruitfulness might return. Seeds burst open and fall or are blown to their destination; and a living forest, a rejoicing meadow grows.

Innately, all of nature is Muhklisin, sincere in devotion, as ihklas, one who is purely devoted, pure of any other focus but God.

Continually transforming, continually praising – even rock.

A papaya cannot suddenly become a breadfruit or a tomato. It is what it is intended to be. How it develops and its ultimate fruitfulness may be open to circumstance – to weather and the forces of nature, to foraging animals, microbes of disease, insects or man’s needs – but essentially, it always follows the course of its original patterning. In its very nature and its fulfillment it praises its Creator.


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This reflection is an excerpt from The Book of Nature. Camille Helminski is co-director of The Threshold Society (, a non-profit educational foundation for the study of Sufism. She has long associations with the Mevlevi Order based in Turkey, and holds the distinction of being the first woman to translate a substantial portion of the Qur’an into English, published under the title of The Light of Dawn. Camille has done much to spread awareness of the important role of women in Islam through her teaching and her book, Women of Sufism.

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