K Geethanjali finds beauty in falling violet blossoms as well as in the winter of her mother’s life
On the ground –
Each one page
In the Book,
A poem that says
As humans, we tend to see beauty only in the blossoming of things. Anything falling and dying is seen as destruction.
Last week, I marvelled at a tree in my apartment’s gardens, so abundant in its violet blossoms that it caught the eye of all passers-by. This Sunday morning, sitting on the garden bench, I was enraptured by the falling showers of these same violet flowers. A sudden landing of a crow on the tree branch or a naughty gust of wind was enough to create the dance of falling flowers. With a gentle twirl, they came slowly down, embracing the ground as elegantly as they had, the tree. Time seemed to stand still as there was an ease and timelessness in their falling.
As the day wore on, there were more flowers on the ground than on the tree. For the life of me, I couldn’t decide which looked more beautiful, the full blossoms on the tree that I had seen earlier or the carpet of dying flowers on the ground?
There is a grace in the blooms and a grace in the falling showers. What appears as the falling and the death of the flowers is but a recycling. After they sink into the mud, won’t they be raised again as yet another form some other day?
What if we see beauty in all the things of life that fall away? My first grey hair need not be a source of concern to me but a joy. The falling away of black and the rise of the silver locks—a sign of the days I have lived and the experiences I have had. The failure to land a promotion that I was eyeing; can I see it as a beautiful falling dream leaf? What if it opens up another path for me?
As I write this, I am in the middle of witnessing a great falling away. My 90- year-old mom is slowly fading away, but there is such grace and beauty in the whole process that there is nothing to resist. There is an overall shrinking as the food intake lessens. The craving for sweets, which was predominant a few months back, has all but fallen away. The snow-white hair, which was once long and lustrous, lie dishevelled over her fair face until combed by one of her children. An Alzheimer’s patient, she has no past or future but lives in the now. Memory has fallen away, but there is a beauty and serenity that living in the present has given her.
Autumn is beautiful. Winter is beautiful. Let’s not hang on to spring and summer. Once we let go and embrace autumn and winter, spring will come again. Albeit in a form we may not recognise.
What a gift the falling leaf has been given! It has lived a ripe old age and is now dry with the wealth of experience. As Gregory Orr continues in his poem ‘Humble dazzle,’
A small part
Of the whole
Story – this
Is my song.
This is my glory.
Truly, the fact that it has lived and is part of a larger story is its greatest bliss.
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