“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”
– Georgia O’Keefe
The daylilies in my yard and that of my neighbor are beginning to flower. They are quite spectacular and pretty breathtaking. Large clumps of blooms that multiply each year and revel in the sunlight.
They are unlike the exotic Asiatic lilies whose blooms are sustained for a week or more. Consider the Asiatic Stargazer variety. As a cut flower it releases fragrance throughout the room from a single blossom for days on end.
The daylily’s name is quite appropriate, as the flower lasts one short day. If you miss it, a withered and melted spent bloom will be there in the morning, and whatever beauty it embraced the day before has passed you by.
It is a simple reminder of how fleeting life is.
I think I was first drawn to them for that reason. Each bloom joyfully shouts “Carpe Diem!” Seize the day, seize the moment, savor the seconds. Stop. Listen. Pray.
The daylily varieties are too numerous to count. The names are lovely, and some in my garden now were chosen for the names alone, “Hawaiian Sunset”, “Key West”,”Big Kiss“, “Music of the Master”, Respighi, Tennyson”, Matisse, “Elizabeth Barrett Browning”, “Matinee Queen” , “Maymont”, “Wedding Band”, all reminders of events, places we traveled, people we know, art we loved. Others were added simply for the incredible beauty of the bloom and its fragrance.
Some blossoms are small, two inches at the most, others over 8 inches across. They are much like people: all sizes, shapes, colors. Tiny 6-inch plants to towering 42-inch stalks. Each adds its own unique beauty to the garden, even though the beauty is fleeting. Each plant has its own time to bloom: early, mid, late summer.
Like people, we all bloom differently. But a morning walk through the various beds gives me an opportunity to capture the beauty that day, as it may be the only time that plant will show off.
It is the perfect example of the beauty shown us in the arc of a single day.
Perhaps it’s God’s reminder of what beauty each of us can bring to this life in a short time. If we concentrate on the Today, then perhaps whatever tomorrow brings will be more appreciated and fulfilling.
May the daylily inspire us to add something unique and beautiful to the world without question, with the full knowledge that this is one day we can focus on accomplishing something memorable, if only for ourselves.
We are not promised tomorrow. We do have today.
Live life as a daylily.