Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Pretty As A Flower...
The other day, I stopped to take in the technicolor dahlias, speckled lilies and sunny Black-eyed Susans. A storm had come through the night before and some of the plants had been slightly damaged. I noticed that a stalk of flowers had blown over and fell across our sidewalk. I bent down to right the fallen plant and paused to study the fanned out corona of pastel petals.
At first, I was struck by the sheer beauty of it. It was so... pretty.
As I looked closer though, I saw that the flower was damaged. Some of the petals were crushed and others were loose and fluttering off. The flower was teeming with insects. Small beetles had chewed the under-petals lacy, spiders had spun dew-splattered cobwebs, and tiny gnats swarmed around the slightly ragged center.
What happened? A moment before, I was floored by how pretty it was and then... I was shuddering as I felt something scuttle across the back of my hand.
This is life.
At first glance, things can seem like absolute perfection. Under closer examination, you might find things that give you the heebie-jeebies. But then, as you consider that everything has its place in the Universe, the sense of beauty returns. The dying flower is all the more beautiful, because it exists in that moment. It is ephemeral. There have been flowers before... there will be more flowers in the future... but this flower is special. It is special, because it is the one here and now. While there may be other flowers in other gardens that are ever so similar, it is not the same. This flower becomes more than just a flower. It becomes a moment. The insects are part of bigger picture, of life, death, decay, and rebirth. The moment is a link in a chain that seems impossibly long and almost endless, but eventually connects back. Flaws might be discovered, but the beauty returns and it's a deeper kind of beauty. It's the beauty that comes with understanding and appreciation, and recognizing that the moment must be cherished because it is fleeting.