I took a walk in the woods yesterday and found a hundred yards of myrtle. No house could be seen, but i was walking on an old logging road, probably now used once a year for sugaring. Perhaps that dip near the road was an old cellar hole? Someone lived here once upon a time, but all traces of human habitation have disappeared. Except for rampant myrtle.
In Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia, myrtle is an invasive species. Our local garden club, Perennial Swappers, forbids gardeners bringing myrtle to give away. We know what it's going to look like a hundred years from now.
Karma is like this. We indulge in just a little bit of unskillful action--gossip, one drink too many, taking something when no one is looking.
Thoughts become words.
Words become deeds.
Deeds develop into habits.
Habits harden into character.
Watch the mind and its ways with care, born out of concern for all beings.
Our unskillful thoughts, words, and behaviors follow us past death. Old cemeteries here in New England are often surrounded by myrtle (Vinca).