The park was a mess after a night of Spring storms with muddy puddles and tree litter covering the walkways and raindrops still falling from the tree canopy. I was tired, and my brain was also littered with unfinished projects, worries, and the seeds of potential ideas. The world was gray and gloomy. Then I turned a corner and was startled by the sight of the fallen pink and white azalea blossoms in piles of petals on the pavement brightening the world with their unexpected beauty.
The weight of the water had knocked the flowers from the bushes where they were carelessly scattered by the morning breeze before settling in heaps against curbs and retaining walls. Their fragrance lingered on the breeze along with the scent of damp earth. I was sad that they would quickly turn brown and wither, but thrilled with the unexpected sight of their fallen glory.
I was reminded of the 75 tulip bulbs I planted in the first year of my marriage in my very first home, full of hope and promise. I carefully buried them in the soil like tiny treasures. I awaited their blossoming with eager anticipation. I watched their progress daily. When they bloomed, I was thrilled with the brilliant red petals and couldn't wait to get home to them at the end of a work day. For two days, I enjoyed their perfection. On the third day, a windstorm blew in during the day. When I returned home from work, all that was left were the green stems. The red petals were strewn across the green grass like remnants of a bloody battle. I enjoyed them for only two days.
Beauty and wonder is often fleeting, and maybe that's what makes it prized. It is not something we can hang onto. It will surely pass, but something unexpected is sure to be waiting around the next corner. Just remember to keep looking and expecting the unexpected.