I wandered out of house today to venture into spring.
These first blue skies after grey days seem magical. The sun radiates heat and life and the promise of blooming and growth.
Everything is ready to come forth and show its beauty.
I walked around the neighborhood and came across a beautiful garden planted at the edge of a driveway, by the street. The color of the tulips was bright against the grass still deciding which green to choose for the season.
And then I saw it…
In this garden was a single white tulip, almost offset, as if it was a type but not of the same grouping. It wasn’t that it was planted with a special intention. It was almost as if this individual was haphazardly allowed to bloom alongside the others despite it not really belonging on the outskirts there. It could have easily been lost in the rainbow of the petals reaching up near it, as they, too, were beautiful. The yellow is the first to catch my eye, then the red, but there was something about this white bloom that mesmerized me.
Swaying alone, this flower was stronger and weaker, more stunning and less noticed. It drew the attention of the sun, the water, and the nutrients. It did not have to share any of these with the rest. It grew in it’s own environment, perhaps more harsh due to it’s seclusion, yet free from the constant brushing and rubbing and competition of the rest of the garden. Once I saw it, the other flowers paled by comparison.
This lonely flower was incredible. It was pure and easy to look at without distraction. This flower technically held all the other colors inside and only reflected the stunning void of all that would not be shown. It was showing me all it was, in addition to the combinations and the voids around it.
I could have stared at this bloom forever. It was simple and intricate and so naturally occurring within the symmetry of what was forced into the ground to make the surroundings more beautiful.
I wanted to pull this blossom up and take it home, place it in a fancy vase and leave it on my bedside table so I could admire it and appreciate it’s beauty.
I wanted to love this flower forever. I would choose it above all others.
But I knew it was not my flower to have.
I did not provide the soil for it to grow. I could not remove it from the other beautiful flowers surrounding it just so I could selfishly keep it as my own. Surely it would miss the colorful family to which it belonged, even if it was different and removed.
It would die as my object, removed from where it had roots.
I walked right from that yard to the store and bought myself a bouquet of white tulips. Six stems of gracious beauty almost identical to the one I saw. I placed them in a vase beside my bed and as I stared at them, and I knew…they were not the flower I loved.
There was only one and it was in the garden of another.
These were delightful distractions and nice of their own accord, but not the same as mine.
So now each day, bright sky or April showers, I visit with my favorite flower that is still just as gorgeous as it was the first day I noticed it. I talk to it and tell it is beautiful and I love it. And sometimes I swear it stands a little straighter when it sees me coming.
Tulips can be annuals or perennials. They bloom in the spring and can be transplanted in the fall. I will enjoy each day these petals are on display and hope that the gardener sees the beauty in this creation and replants it again next year.
And for my benefit, I hope it is still offset, just a little bit, so that I can still see it as my flower in someone else’s garden.
Author: Andrea Byford
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: LynxDaemon at Flickr