In spite of our cold winter, spring has finally arrived in Atlanta and springtime flowers are emerging in all their splendor. I grew up in Eastern Oregon, called the “Switzerland of America,” which is a most appropriate name for this beautiful area. The spectacular mountains are covered with snow in the winter and summers are rarely very hot. As in most mountain regions, a snowfall in April or May is not unusual so spring sort of slips by unnoticed and suddenly it is summer. After graduating from college, I moved to Los Angeles for a number of years where the seasons come and go without any fan fair as it is hard to differentiate one from the other.
Moving to Atlanta in the fall, I marveled at the beauty and variety of colors as the leaves changed. Everyone told me that spring was even more spectacular but I could not imagine how that was possible until the following spring arrived. It seemed there was wave after wave of glorious new blossoms on a daily basis, combined with the emerging of leaves once the flowers started to fade.
Again, this spring the long-awaited tree and flower blossoms just take my breath away. As I have been observing this spectacular display of beauty, I am reminded of how each variety has a beauty all its own. The tulips and daffodils, standing so straight and proper, adorned with just one or two blossoms are true minimalists. Japanese Magnolias, with their tulip-like blossom present themselves in a bubble of soft color, giving the tree the appearance of a giant, pink ice cream cone. Delicate, wild looking forsythia branches covered with joyful yellow blooms, invite you to skip through a meadow. Conversely, the delicate, pink cherry blossoms convey a feeling of fragile beauty and femininity.
In observing how each species has a beauty all its own and each conveys a different message, I have been struck with how similar we are, each with our own individual beauty. We would think it ludicrous if the forsythia grumbled because it wished to be an azalea or the tulip wanted to be a pansy but we don’t think it unusual if we look at someone with a different type of beauty than ours and wish that we were like her.
A fun exercise to do is to think of your favorite flower. Consider what attributes draw you to love that particular flower. Often you will realize that the flower represents you. I know of one woman who loves white tulips. She is very competent and efficient and dresses in an understated, minimalist way. Another lady loves an amaryllis. This is the person who will never walk into a room unnoticed. Her magnetic personality and sparkle telegraph to everyone that she is present. Yet another woman absolutely loves a sunflower. Like the sunflower, she has a personality and presence as big as all out doors. Each person will be drawn to a particular flower that reflects a blend of her personality and appearance.
As we marvel as each new flower emerges this spring, let’s also marvel at our own unique beauty and savor the beauty with which we have been designed.