Nelumbo nucifera – an aquatic perennial that springs forth from the mud. A blessing to the kayaker, I come across these in numbers in the late spring.
Lotus have a cycle where they emerge from the mud over a period of a few days. They open in the morning and close up in the late afternoon. Despite emerging from the mud and living in a relatively dirty environment, the petals remain clean and beautiful.
It is often associated with purity and spiritual expansion. As 12/21/2012 approaches (A day that has been tossed about as the end of the world as we know it) let us hope it marks the beginning of a time of increased consciousness.