On Easter Sunday my Sister-in-law brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers for the dinner table. It was made up of various spring flowers, greens, and a few roses. As the days went by I pulled out the flowers that had died and ended up with just the roses. I recut them and put them in a smaller vase. This vase has been sitting on the bookcase in my living room since then.
Today I finally got around to throwing them away but when I brought the vase into the kitchen and looked at the roses in the sunlight I couldn’t do it. The flowers, formerly bright and fresh had withered into beautiful dried roses…
The yellow had mellowed to soft gold and the red had become a creamy pink. Each petal edge was rippled like lace, soft and delicate. They had aged or withered on their own terms, keeping the same form and essence- still beautiful but in a different way.
I thought about all those days when I feel a little withered myself. Days when my knees protest those last four steps, or I need to dab on extra makeup to cover the circles under my eyes. Those are the days I notice how much grey is in my hair and how the skin on my arms sags. Well, the next time I’m feeling that way, I’m going to think of these roses and remember that beauty isn’t always young and fresh. Some beauty only comes with age and with all the experiences that make us who we are.