Do These Petals Make My Stem Look Fat?
I am a flower-lover. Take me to any farmers market and you will find me at the floral booth, falling head-over-heels in love with the silent beauty and grace of those luminous little beings we call by name:
Dahlias, Ranunculus, Lilys, Hydrangea, Orchids, Wildflowers, you name it… the intricacy and beauty of their natural design, astounds me. There is an unspoken love and knowingness that happens in me when I gaze upon their colors and textures, that I do not dare attempt to describe.
They remind me of who I am.
They remind me of who we all are.
Without saying a word, they reflect back to us all of our magnificence, all of our grace and beauty, all of our subtle intricacies, and imperfections, and all of our color and splendor all at once. If you look really close, and be very still, you will see the entirety of existence wrapped up in their single and common-place presence. They are both ordinary and extraordinary, all at once.
Flowers do not need to be special — they just ARE.
They are not comparing themselves to other flowers, wishing their shade of white was a bit more brilliant, wishing their stalk was as thin as the flower in the next row, wishing they didn’t have a hole in their petal, or an edge chewed off, or a bend in their leaves from an encounter with a groundhog.
They are not concerned with being “better than” the shrubbery, or “worse than” the trees.
They are masters of BEING — content, whole, radiant… and fleeting.
They are free of MIND: the need to stand-out, the need to compete, the fear of never getting there, or never being enough. And yet… life makes them enough. Enough to bring the bee’s, enough to pollinate and germinate new beauties — enough to sprout and bloom once more. And they don’t have to do anything for it.
They don’t just “give” and “receive” in life,
they ARE the giving and receiving.
They are ONE with Life.
If they are mowed down, they begin again. If they are uprooted, they dry to dust, and the dust goes to ground, and begins a new cycle. If they are paved-over, they push through the cracks. They have no regard for “end” or “beginning” — just here, now, whatever that may be.
They do not hold on to their blossoming, afraid to let it go, they drop their blossoms like leaves — and in that letting go — a fruit appears.
They do not struggle in the wind, or want for rain. They bow to the current,
they know the rain will come.
They do not apologize for their proportion, or their expression; for their color, or their fullness, or their sparseness. They do not feel that anything is out of place. They have no ideas of right or wrong, or “how things should be”. And in this, they are utterly free.
And look what that freedom does to us!
It brightens our entire world.
They are a symbol of a love and connectedness that we have no words for — and so we show up, at births, and weddings, and hospital rooms — with them in hand. We show up at doorsteps, and graveyards — with them in hand. We put them on our breakfast table, we send them to someone we know is in pain, we plant them and tend them, for nothing but the joy of it. They require no explanation.
They extend to the other person whatever it is we long to tell them, and to hear ourselves — like a punctuated silence that whispers:
“I see you. I understand you. I am here for you. I love you. You are not alone.”
Flowers don’t need to be seen, or understood, or supported, or loved. They know they are connected to everything, and therefore, never alone.
But us humans DO need that from time to time.
And so we have each other — to comfort, to inspire, to BE that thing that’s needed…
and we have flowers —
to remind us that whatever we thought was needed,
is already here.