The Power of Seduction
On a hot June afternoon in 1966, I learned about the power of seduction.
Tired out from running around the block with my siblings and friends, I threw myself down, spread-eagle in the middle of the backyard.
The long grass was tickly and cool on my bare arms and legs, even as the sun spread warmth like a blanket over my face to my toes. I closed my eyes. I could hear a distant lawnmower, a bee in the nearby clover, the faraway yells and laughter of the neighborhood. Breathing deeply, I inhaled the sweet scent of honeysuckle and newly mowed grass. Summer entered my body, through every pore, as I offered myself up to the earth, the sun, the blue sky adorned with billowy, white clouds. I was anchored there, pinned to the ground yet seemingly capable of floating up into the picture perfect summer air.
How long I lay there, I don’t know. I think my mother called my name, once, twice, than louder, more insistent. Finally, the spell broke. But the damage was done. And I would be seduced again and again and again.
Despite a strong will, pragmatic nature and good intentions, I’ve found myself seduced by all nature of things. And yes, nature is almost always at the root of it.
I’ve been beguiled by puppies, enticed by strawberries, tempted by fine wine, allured by laughter. I’ve fallen in love with babies, lilacs and the smell of my first lover.
In moments of great but uncharted faith, I’ve given myself over to mountaintops and oceans, and in doing so, have lost myself in the vast oneness of the world, only to find that I am, in the coming together, more deeply connected than before.
And so I have no choice but to believe in the power of seduction. Just when life seems to assure me of its practical, consistent truths, I am suddenly, and once again, swept up and overpowered by sources beyond my control; sometimes beyond my understanding.
Like that six-year-old child on a hot summer’s day, I can still be seduced by the lure of the sun or the unexpected waft of honeysuckle on the breeze. And though now it may be more a memory of seduction, I dare not conclude that I will not fall again.