fleeting flowers

by bethanybump

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there was a time that a gifted bouquet of flowers felt like a burden. i’d have to stop what i was doing to tend to them right away. snip their ends in a diagonal cut, just like my mother taught me. find the right jar or vase to hold them. fill it with water—not too hot, not too cold—lukewarm. don’t scare the precious fleurs.

it’s the next part that burdened me.

their beauty. the way they brightened a room, or my periphery in passing. it was almost too much. to know they would soon be gone. that they would wilt and brown and sit sadly in their jar or vase until i couldn’t bear it anymore and threw them out. i’d be sad that they ever were because eventually they weren’t.

these feelings were not isolated to flowers alone. for a period, i felt this about dirty dishes in the sink. why wash them? they’ll be dirty again tomorrow. i felt this about errands. why run them? you’ll have more tomorrow, and the next day. about haircuts. chop it today, you’ll be chopping in another few months, and another few after that.

these were symptoms of something else, something that’s not really me.

these days, i love a bouquet. i love the way it lights up a room. the way it lights up my periphery. the way it looks as it soaks up the afternoon sun and radiates the deepest, purest shade of ruby i ever did see. that it’s fleeting—well that makes it ever the more special doesn’t it?

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