Despite my blog attempts to indicate otherwise, I live a pretty normal life in a pretty normal house. We’re a normal couple with normal routines. My husband has a normal job and I think I’m a pretty normal retiree, perhaps a little over zealous with my crafting, but within the normal range. I also think we may love each other a little more than normal, but we have our reasons. And, not surprisingly, like most normal couples, we occasionally have words.
Those kinds of words.
And it was because of those kinds of words last week, I got a dozen roses. To be honest, I wasn’t crazy about the color, but you can’t be too picky when you buy your roses at the supermarket. I didn’t say a word other than how beautiful, and he said he was happy I liked them. So through the week I made a concerted effort to tend these flowers, changing the water daily, refreshing them, pruning them, and willing them to open into something glorious. I can make these last, I told myself, as they appeared to tighten their grip around the stem and refuse to open to show their rich inner color. I kept them close in the cool environment of the studio, bringing them to the family room in the evening for his enjoyment.
That got me wondering. Why do some flowers get to bloom to their full potential, and others die before they can show the world their inherent beauty? My flowers probably came from Europe in the cold cargo hold of some foreign airline; shipped in some refrigerated truck to a warehouse far from here; transferred to a local distributor, then delivered to my neighborhood grocery store. Here they endured the hardship of grocery-store life until my husband saw them and put them in a hot car to bring home. And no matter how much care and attention I gave them, their time was up. They didn’t have the energy left in them to mature.
Sitting in front of an easel or a sewing machine several hours a day, I have time to think about destiny, especially the part about dying young. I think some are destined to endure such physical hardship while they’re young they can not fulfill the normal lifecycle of their species. They spend their energy fighting against the cargo holds and warehouses of this world, with nothing left for the vase. No matter how much we tend them, protect them, or try to keep them disease free, they just don’t make it.
But I am drawn to these flowers even in their premature death. I think the small brownish edges add contrast and character, and the tightness of their buds, never opening to touch the world around them, makes them appear stronger than some frilly little cottage rose. The dried leaves remain tough and tenacious. The taut stems refused to wilt.
So perhaps flowers have a destiny as well as people. It’s just the way of life. I see the beauty in all of it, no matter how it plays out.