Not everything has to die in autumn

This morning I looked at the orchid at my window, and there she was. A bloom open. I have been waiting three years for this moment. It reminds me of Jackie, going back to work today after a year of novitiate in our community. Sure, this orchid had an extended novitiate of sorts (three years instead of the canonical one), but today she is most lovely and the cause of my joy and gratitude and contemplation this morning.

I thought to myself, “Not everything has to die in autumn,” while I tried to look closely at each petal, color, and curve of the bloom…with a golden tree as its backdrop through my window. I also thought to myself, “Val, not everything has to be a metaphor.” Autumn is ripe for them, as is each season, but autumn seems more obvious for us humans, called to die to self and let go each day.

The orchid seems to hold many metaphors, too. (Nature is good to us that way.) I could write about the bruised leaves juxtaposed against the beauty of the bloom…how many times (two) I accidentally broke off what could have become new blooms over those three years and how it so often feels like I get in the way of my own growth…how more blooms will come with patience and time…how the orchid requires a particular and unique care regimen. But why? The loveliness and joy are so in my face as I stare at it in equal amounts to the time I am spending writing these words.

Find something beautiful today. Celebrate it for what it is, not for the meaning you make for it.

Let us walk in the holy presence.