Do you pick a flower? A singular blossom, deep with color, fragrant in the sun – do you cut it, bring it in and watch it, beaming, meditating on its singular beauty? Keep the water fresh, trim the leaves as they wither. Do you hold it in your fingers gently, cradling its life slipping away, soaking in the memory of its perfection before you must remember it? Do you notice the smoothness of the petals, the silky texture of each unique surface? Do you touch it, stroke it, lift it to caress your face? Do you marvel at the pureness of the color, the intricacy of the shape, the delicacy of the fragrance? Do you? Do you pick a flower to keep and cherish, a little bit of the Garden captured for your private world?
Perhaps it’s better cut and dried. Do you snip the stem carefully, smiling in wonder at the intricate detail, eager to save its form for posterity? Do you arrange it in its tissue coffin, every detail set to best advantage, then press, press, press away the air, the water, the danger of decay? Do you wait as it lies in darkness, holding your breath, anticipating the unveiling of the work you have wrought? Do you celebrate the timelessness of the preservation, sated by the gift you have taken?
Or do you leave a blossom blooming, feed and water it, cultivate it, and watch it grow? Do you go to visit it, sing with it, dance in the celebration of its presence? Do you marvel at the spherical swelling of raindrops sitting on its petals or the silver transformation of dewdrops frosting its morning? Do you share breath with it, pouring out your life to nourish it, taking in its fragrance to purify your spirit?
Can you own a flower? Do not presume so. You may only share life with a flower. It is here to live out beauty, and it cannot be limited by ownership. Anyone who looks to see a flower may be blessed by it. Even in death its essence may bring life to those who choose to live.
Will you consider the lilies?
Will you consider