Ode to an Iris

There are signs of strong roots as the breeze gently sways the perennial iris. Unflinching near the earth, the graceful oscillation builds upward, as does the colorful display. Off-shoots emerge from the sturdy, deep green foundation. Nearest the ground resides a tightly closed bud, perfect in its anticipation. Full of promise, it quietly awaits its turn in the sunny spotlight.

At its uppermost point, the stem reaches skyward in an unabashedly gorgeous bloom. Soft hues of yellow extend outward against a backdrop of purple speckles and stripes. Each shimmering petal stretches open, edges rolling back slightly in overextension, gloriously soaking in sun and exposing sweet nectar to bees, butterflies, and the occasional hummingbird. In the air wafts a deliciously potent aroma that echoes this essence of reaching its prime—the brief rapture of its peak.

Balanced in the middle of the stock, below the radiant blossom, rests a flower that was. Why does this urge arise to pluck it away? Does this sign of impermanence detract from the adjoining display of bright life? Why shouldn’t both exist together, confirming the true beauty of the crescendo in their affirmation of its fleeting nature?

Is this aging flower shrinking and shriveling in misery? Is it slumped, saddened by decline? Perhaps not. Perhaps this elder bloom is peacefully resting, grateful and proud for having finished its work of beckoning pollinators, ensuring future seasons of growth.

It curls back into itself, gently hugging and creating a twist of color and texture, enveloping all memories of its brief existence. Is there humility in this graceful bow? Generosity? Is there work yet to be done? Wisdom to share? An aspiration to manifest peaceful acquiescence, conveying fertile trust in what is?

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