These flowers lose magnificence to me, when plucked from their natural place in the world and interwoven in floral arrangements, usually standing sentry in tall wicker baskets as reverent background in funeral parlors. There, mouths open but not agape, they seem not to worship but to stand sorrowfully in grief. I have witnessed these flowers in that state too many times. I much prefer to see them in their natural habitat where they remind me of being alone and yet bonded to others as I sing hymns of praise and offer gratitude for my place in the sun facing the altar of my future. I am filled with the kinetic energy of hope.