Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pretty As A Flower...

Our neighbors at the shop have a beautiful garden.  On nice days, it seems like there's at least a dozen or more people who stop to admire the abundance of brightly colored flowers.  I have to confess that I'm one of them.  I think that we're lucky to be so close and can enjoy them on a daily basis.

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.


Alice said...

So true about the life of flowers and of life itself. My dad hates fall because he only sees the dead flowers all brown and ugly. But I see the cycle of life and enjoy seeing the pods and strong stems and knowing they will be blooming again in the spring.

TesoriTrovati said...

And that is the cycle of life! A beautiful photograph with even more beautiful words. Your soul is filled with poetry and light, my friend! Enjoy the day. Erin