Purity of heart is to will one thing, like the male yucca moth,
for example, who wills only to mate. With that one deed,
his entire life’s labor is consummated.
The female yucca moth, in contrast, is just beginning her life’s great task.
Her wings’ whiteness camouflaged against white yucca blossoms,
she deposits her fertilized eggs in the ovary of a yucca flower.
Next, the female yucca moth gathers a bundle of pollen
from flowers of the neighboring yucca plants.
Grasping her ball of pollen with her mouth tentacles-
like a mother cat grasping a kitten-she carries
her precious pollen bundle back to cross-pollinate
the blossom that cradles her eggs,
now the protégés of the yucca plant.
The yucca, a highly evolved plant,
resembles a root-bound porcupine.
With green quills straight as bayonets,
yucca creeps across the canyon
without tanks and refuels on sunlight,
then stands guard through wind and snow,
feet planted firmly to the ground.
From this vantage point, the yucca oversees its nursery.
Yucca blossoms, fertilized by a yucca moth,
now produce fruit and seed, ambrosia for the offspring
that emerge from the moth’s stowaway eggs.
Once caterpillars feast on yucca fruit and seed,
they parachute to ground to overwinter
in a cocoon of soil shaded by the yucca plant.
When yucca blossoms again, moths will emerge
from their cocoons, meeting and mating on pearl-colored petals.
The life of the adult moth is so short, it has no desire for nectar,
but hungers only to complete its singular feat.
Only the yucca moth can pollinate the yucca flower.
Only the yucca flower will suckle the yucca caterpillar.
Each one wills one thing only and desires the good of the other.
So intertwined, one cannot live without the other.