In A Different Light

(Topic: flowers, mental health, light)

Dear Friends,

Lately I have been admiring the lily.

Not Plato’s Lily, not some ideal idea of a lily… I’ve been admiring the beautiful double lilies that grow in the garden of the house I rent. Beautiful salmon-orange with red and a touch of gold, with curling edges and the “double” multiple layers of petals. The ones that seem to spring forth fresh every day, yet provide a constant show of exuberance couched in a verdant bed of leaves.

Those lilies.


Several days ago I posted a message on Facebook that I was having a tougher day – not bad, but that I would really appreciate something cute or happy to look at or think about. Amongst the many cheerful, positive, and uplifting statements was a suggestion to go outside and spend some time with flowers.

At the time, I was involved in an activity I couldn’t leave, but that evening I did go out and pick this lovely bouquet from our garden:

5 stems, each with one bloom. I initially snipped out the center parts to try to eliminate pollen in the house, but then realized that some of the center petals are actually stamen and fascinatingly had little curls of pollen at their tips, so each of the blooms had some minor trimming before being arranged in the vase.

It really did help me feel somewhat better for a bit, and I even set the table nicely and made a salad!

But then those lily flowers didn’t last. By the next day, they’d closed up and shriveled, and I was very disappointed. But there were other buds on those stalks. I had no idea if they’d open, so I had a strange flower arrangement for a few days.

I took these three pictures, from the same perspective. Take a minute to look at them…

The only difference between left and right is lighting and focus, and the middle one has a filter that plays with tinting.

But isn’t it funny, how the exact same lily stems look so different? On the left, they are just silhouettes, with no potential. You can maybe guess what the picture shows, from the shape, but it could be something dry and done, like seed pods. In the right picture, when the lighting is changed to focus on the lilies themselves, the potential is suddenly there. You can see the buds, the slight orange tint, the hint of possibility. And all three show a beauty, I think, of form. The middle one makes me think of upward motion, and makes me think of Heaven, just a bit.


I don’t know what I’m trying to say with this. That things have different sides, that you can see things in different lights? Maybe. You could certainly apply that metaphor to my life in a thousand obvious and less obvious ways. Maybe I’m just saying thanks, for helping me take a moment to see, and to notice.

And they did bloom again.



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