Love, After Corona: Water The Flowers

My flowers are withering, and it’s my fault.

I read a post today that resonated with me and reflected my current circumstances. There was one friend, who attempted to offer the other a small bouquet of flowers as a sign of congratulation for their accomplishment. Rather than savoring the moment, and presenting an attitude of gratitude, the flower-clasping friend moved on to speak of the next “big thing” they’d been planning. Flower-offering friend said, in a somewhat stilted tone, “Okay, so you can water your flowers, or not,” then walked away, miffed at the brush off of their kind gesture, and the look of hungry anticipation for what was yet to come. The last line of this cautionary anecdote was “Water your flowers.”

I just posted to my fb, after a somewhat stagnant period of radio silence, titling it “Nightly Musings Of An Anxious Mind,” and after revisiting it the next morning, I discovered that same gnawing wonder, couched in between the laundry list of my worries. In my haste for closure, for my incessant need to make plans, and for my fear of the future was my forgetfulness to water the flowers.

We live so much of our lives like worker bees, flitting from home to work to home again, and forget to see the sky, because our eyes are trained to ruts we’ve tread in the dirt.

We often choose to fill our time with busy nothings and let the blooms wilt.

I began this series during one of the most difficult periods in recent human history, because we were forced to stay away from one another. After months of isolation, I was parched from a lack of connection. Society’s prior nonchalance with human contact was challenged, and in that adversity, many of us kindled the flames of creativity.

We watered the flowers of the present, because that was tangible.

The thing I am proudest of about humanity during the “Covid era” is that we were pushed to become inventors again—of communication, of art, of life. We took a step back to recognize that, though we were on a seemingly infinite global “intermission,” we were together in our aloneness. We lost so many, so suddenly, but among the trauma and fear, also gained much that was beautiful.

Flowers grew out of dark cracks in the pavement.

The saddest part of this past year is that we retreated again, perhaps not fully, but we’ve grown complacent and neglectful of our blessings. We are driving quickly again—instead of just ambling along—racing for a faster finish line, eyes trained to the farthest horizon’s edge. The question is, at what cost?

I was watching an episode of “Down To Earth” on Netflix, and the episode featured the advanced elderly who live in Sicily. The two American celebrity hosts visited the men and women who reached, and also surpassed, ten decades of living.

What struck me was the celebration of simplicity in their daily existence, and how an ordinary (yet challenging) morning walk to and fro brought them such joy and good health. They savored good food, time with family, and the land they loved. There was no artifice, no glory, no excess—not even a looking ahead, necessarily—just a willingness to live in the moments presented to them. Their “fountain of youth” came from an appreciation of what we would deem the mundane, and I couldn’t help but wonder if they’d figured out what those of us in this rat race are too foolish to see—it’s not about the next big thing—it’s about the “now.”

Last weekend, on a whim, and borne of a need to escape the monotony of chores, my husband and I whisked our children away to our local beach for an overnighter of frivolity, a rare chance to unwind by the shoreline. I immediately downshifted into the mentality that we needed a jam packed 24hrs, but what my husband pointed out was that we don’t have to rush, and it’s ok if we don’t cram every minute full ofexperiences.” He was reminding me that our purpose was to water the flowers.

When I realized that he was right, I dropped the suitcase sized bag of things on the sand, kicked off my sandals, pulled up the beach toys, and began playing with my son.

After some time passed, I heard the delighted squeals of my offspring and spouse. Sitting down on the beach towel, I closed my eyes, turned my face to the sky, just breathing in the salt air—-and, it was enough.

In that instant, more would have been too much.

I play a song for my outgoing 8th graders, before their “final bow,” and crossing of a threshold. It’s called “I Lived.”I think that’s what we need to do more of. Not the kind of extreme vacations, or “bucket list” adventures that only happen once every ten years.

Just the ones that may seem trivial and commonplace, but, in and of themselves, can be momentous.

So when you’re staring the next span of time in the face, attempting to map it all out down to the minute, afraid you’ll be so bored because your calendar has empty spots, just remember…

Water the flowers.

-Kindred Spirit-


Published by kindredspirit0107

I am a writer, director, teacher, world traveler, avid theatre-goer, photographer, spontaneous adventurer, at-home chef/baker, and collector of unique things. I am a wife & mother of two who is trying to balance the home and career. :) Passionate about learning and love. I hope, one day, to be a published writer or playwright for an educational Theatre company.

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