Ink & watercolor, 9×6″ (larger)
When I picked these roses yesterday evening, they were heartbreakingly fresh, new and beautiful. I put them in a vase of water in the kitchen, planning to paint them today. This morning I found them laying on the counter where they’d obviously been without water too long and looked limp.
Either they jumped out of their vase or my cats had a hand (er… paw) in their escape. After a few hours back in water they plumped right back up and were a joy to draw. I only had about an hour and that was just enough time to make a happy ink and watercolor.
But why do I feel so sad seeing the beauty of my seven rose bushes and thick patch of irises all loaded with flowers? It’s as if I’m already mourning their demise, knowing how temporary their burst of color and vibrancy is before winter comes again.
Is it my enhanced awareness of the cycle of life and death as I approach one of those milestone birthdays this June? Or is that time seems to be moving so fast these days that I can picture the blooming season flying by like those time-lapse films where the flowers sprout, bloom, shrivel and die within moments.
Instead of feeling sad about their demise (and my own, for that matter), I need to remember the Buddhist teaching of being in the present moment, accepting that everything changes, everything dies; that desire and clinging cause suffering and that letting go relieves it.
So with that, I will allow my flowers to live and die as nature sees fit (as if I had any other choice!), and will enjoy them while they’re here. I’ll try to make the most of my own moments while I’m here too, with as much acceptance as I can. And maybe I’ll finally return to my Zen meditation practice which always brought me such joy and peace, and made all of life more vibrant.