Photo credit: David Clinton

Every Monday, I stop by the store on my way to work, taking time to carefully choose the flowers that most call to me. With senses on high alert, I wonder over the colors, the smells, the contours, and the softness of the petals, quietly observing the many intricacies that make each flower so unique. I take in the variation in the leaves of each bouquet, the combination of shapes creating a full green backdrop to the blossoms, and I choose the beauty that most delights my soul.

In this moment, I look at my most recent Monday purchase—six peonies in a vibrant shade of magenta. Four blossoms are open wide, and still expanding, while two hold tightly to their budding slumber. These flowers sit on my desk in my favorite vase, given to me as a birthday gift by people I cherish, and they beckon me to sit awhile and wonder at their unfolding.

You see, that’s the gift of beauty. Beauty invites us to pause…to linger over a moment. It calls attention to the present, pulling us away from the imaginings of the future or the pain of the past. Beauty, so often viewed as impractical, is the thing that draws us most to the deeper truths of who we are: worthy of attention and delightful to behold. Beauty, even in its simplest forms, captures our eyes and enraptures our hearts, making us long for more.

Even now, I run my fingers over the petals of my peonies, feeling both the softness of new life and the crisp, browning edges of a life fading. Occasionally, a petal will break away, gently floating onto my desk. Yet, even that holds beauty as I am reminded that the splendor of life is temporary. And maybe, out of all the gifts that beauty gives, that’s the greatest gift and deepest truth of all: beauty lasts but for a moment, and so do we.

So, I will buy more flowers on Monday, and I will treasure the beauty while it lasts.


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