I have always loved wildflowers. Mostly they are classified as weeds and we mow them down, tug them out by their roots, and exterminate them with chemicals. I understand that reasoning in certain places—like a well kept yard. I have pulled and cursed at my share of those nasty, persistent weeds ruining my gardens over the years.
In Arizona, some neighbors across the street had bland, beige rocks in their front yard. For fifty weeks out of the year, I would witness this sleepy, humdrum sight. Then in the spring, up through those rocks, emerged a glorious, radiant sea of color. A wavy rainbow of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. A mass of dazzling shades and hues.
More and more popped up every day until after just two short weeks, the flowers would wilt, wither, and die. The neighbors would spend a couple days removing all the ugly remains and their yard would return to that same old monotonous pile of vanilla stone. Even with all the work required, they somehow felt it was worth the extra effort to display that flood of color, no matter how brief.
I have never lived in a small town. But, I find myself in one now. I recently went for a walk around our humble abode which is in the middle of nowhere, and I found myself surrounded by the most gorgeous wildflowers. Purple, yellow and white emblazoned across the otherwise muted desert.
Reaching to pick some of those lovely blossoms to place on my table, I soon discovered the stalks were covered with huge sharp thorns. So much beauty encircled by an abundance of menacing prickles. The floral petals were delicate and magnificent, but were positioned against barbed wire fences, sharp cactus, and an underbrush full of snakes, beetles, and scorpions. Only a few steps could inflict much discomfort. Yet, these most wonderful, resplendent flowers sprang up to stand tall amongst all their surrounding adversity.
The more it rains, the more the blooms grow. They multiply. And, they fight to advance in the oddest most impossible places. Wildflowers are resilient! We have become used to thinking of weeds as a nuisance, because somehow they inevitably return. Always reaching for the warmth of the sun and the cooling of the breeze.
We face a dichotomy. Do we pick the flowers OR let them flourish?
Pluck something so beautiful to hold in our possession for only a brief time or enjoy its existence by allowing it to remain attached to what supplies fuel for its life.
Suddenly, the parallel becomes obvious! A striking comparison. An amazing representation of both the pain and the beauty of nature and of our lives.
Life is thorny. Life is beautiful. Life delivers the unexpected—some joyous and some challenging.
We grow through our struggles. When it rains in our life, we learn to become stronger and more robust. We bask in the gentleness of the sun and the caress of the breeze as we recognize the limited number of years in our short lives.
Our dichotomy. Do we avoid the risk OR let our passion bloom?
Hold ourselves back until we perceive the timing is perfect or embrace the courage needed to pursue our dreams which we may have believed were unattainable.
There will be plenty of time for the flowers to wither away, but for now, enjoying the beauty that THEY hold and that WE hold is essential. We may be thorny and prickly, but allowing our colors to shine for however long we are blessed to be on this planet, is our gift to those around us.
May we all have the resilience of these wildflowers, thorns and all. Because in choosing to flourish, we posses unparalleled uniqueness, singular passion, and share with the world the most breathtaking vision of all—the beauty of who we are.
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