Early this morning, I was on my way to my Culinary lecture when I suddenly stopped in my tracks. A flowering plant caught my eye. It was filled with beautiful, small, white flowers. I picked one, and thought of my friend Sandra who always laughs at the fact that I tend to do this often. However, I believe that whether plucked or left on its birth source, flowers have a purpose. They beautify, serve as food, and are gifts used to express love, honor or gratitude. I don’t feel bad whenever I pluck one. After all, it’s a gift from nature.
I twirled the pretty little flower in my left hand, put it against my cheek, and sniffed it. Good morning, I thought to myself. Then I noticed that one of the five petals was smaller than the rest. Much smaller. Yet, it’s what caught my eye. It made me think of ourselves, our perception of beauty, proportions, and what we think we should look like. It was not a perfect flower, but was just as beautiful as the rest. I put it away in my notebook, filed away the exploratory thoughts that it evoked, and headed to class.
During my train ride home, I found the flower as I looked through my class notes. Although a bit bruised, it still had five petals, and remained intact. Nature is full of messages, I thought.
It reminded me that even though its petals were bruised, and not as perfect (or imperfect) as it had been in the morning, it remained a flower. As we age, bruise, wilt away, and no matter how imperfect we may feel at times, our goal should be to remain intact. As this little flower had done.
I put the flower away in my notebook again, as it will remind me of its message whenever I choose to look at it. We have a purpose in this vast universe. Everything on this earth exists for a reason. We must always try to give our existence meaning. No matter what our imperfections, inadequacies, life bruises, we exist as part of the soul of the earth. We should not waste our days away.
This experience made me think of a blog post that I read from Paulo Coelho, “Ask a flower in the field: ‘Do you feel useful? After all, you do nothing but produce the same flowers over and over?’ And the flower will answer: ‘I am beautiful, and beauty is my reason for living.’”
We all have a reason for living, whether we know it or not, and even if it changes–one thing is for certain–it exists.