Friday, January 18, 2013

Birds of Paradise

Birds of paradise are some of my favorite flowers.  They are filled with kinetic energy, I think.  Mouths agape, wearing a fancy headdress, they are almost never seen alone.  Except when they wait for others to unfurl.  And when they do, the whole group stands in prayerful respect facing in the same direction, towards the altar of the sun’s welcoming rays .  Alone and yet together in their worship, in their gratitude.  I wonder, with their heads back, plumage resplendent, if they sing silent hymns of praise.

     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.


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