Flowers and Fall
By Seanna Robinson
I heard somewhere that older people tend to be more drawn to and appreciative of flowers than younger people are, because they have experienced and witnessed more of the world’s ugliness. Over time, that will happen. Children like flowers, sure, but they run past them without much thought. If you’ve experienced hardships, grief, illness, tragedy, loss, failure, you are more likely to think that flowers are a bigger deal. Their beauty and scents shine more brightly.
These days I’m acutely aware of how quickly everything can change and certain pleasures can disappear. We’ve gone from slowly re-opening and gathering with friends to now retracting back due to COVID resurgences. We’ve seen our friends and family on the West Coast and in the US struggle with wildfires and political turmoil. Many of our small business owner friends and community members are struggling financially. Most of us as well as our close friends and family members are struggling with the loss of physical connection and close personal connections. These are all realities. We can’t change this and we can’t predict what will happen next. We will weather them and survive, as humanity has over hundreds of thousands of years of hardships.
And through these hardships we will suddenly be wired to experience beauty more fully. I’ve been thinking of this as I run freely in the fall air as the trees turn brilliant shades of reds, oranges and yellows. Am I noticing them more brightly this year? Am I appreciating every step and every breath and yes, even every feeling of burning in my legs a little more? When I run by the water, the sun sparkling over it looks more magical than ever. The rainbows, sunrises and sunsets I’ve witnessed this fall have literally taken my breath away. And the flowers are definitely bringing me more joy than they used to. For all of this at least, I am grateful.
I’m not saying the hardships are worth this perspective – it’s not something you can weigh or compare. I’m just encouraging you to take the opportunity to experience the beauty and glory of nature this Fall while you can. It might look more beautiful than you remember.