Friday, May 7, 2010

The Day You Bloom

And for you ladies out there, I'm not talking about the day you, as a young girl turned young woman, get your period. Although you do, sort of, bloom that day. I'm talking about something larger. Larger than the moment you become fertile.

I've been slogging around this idea since seeing this thing:

Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. I'm not talking about that.

I'm talking about the idea that this cactus grows this long asparagus shoot and flowers only once and then withers in the hot desert sun until it looks like a pile of brown paper bags. And then it's done. Like over. Cycle complete. It's caput.

And this cactus flower too. One day. Of gorgeousness. With a little pink added in around the edges to make it even more spectacular. And then it, too, dies. Done. Forever.

And to think, perchance, our lives are like this. That we maybe have already flowered and are just withering in the heat? Dying after our one day of spectacular gorgeousness. I know. Deep thoughts for a Friday. Maybe too philosophical for today.

But I'll leave you with this. Because it's more of my view (not that the best has already been but that's it's sure to come). I've been rubbing my nose in Annie Dillard lately, getting up all in her neck.

She writes, "We know nothing for certain, but we seem to see that the world turns upon growing, grows towards growing, and growing green and clean."

And so here we are, growing towards growing. And perhaps our moment to shine, to burst forth in bloom, our one day to be spectacular with pink around the edges (or blue, or green or whatever color makes you feel beautiful) is that day that we decide it's our last. And maybe only WE know we've spent our lives propagating our bloom for this one day. And it must feel joyous. Joyous to bloom at the end and not the beginning.


  1. deep. your first pic reminds me of the silver sword plant in hawaii....this guy blooms only once as well, after 50 years! (so perhaps there's still hope for me).

    in fact, this plant was the subject of one of our xmas cards a bunch of years ago, and i had a corny message in it - a spin off of Silver Bells...that anonymous tried to nix. but she who makes the xmas cards gets the last vote.

  2. perhaps our gift is that we have the chance to extend our bloom and diminish the time we spend in decay