Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lesson from the daylilies

This is what you don't see. The bowl of daylilies on the day after.

I go out each morning, empty the bowl, refill it with fresh, cool water, and choose which daylilies will be featured that day. As I looked at yesterday's outdoor bouquet, I was struck by the lesson we learn over and over, and yet the message doesn't stick. We don't really absorb it. Its essence is: life is brief. All we have is the present. If we don't totally appreciate it, if we go blithely on our way without noticing life around us, we miss it. This is all there is. I could spend all day finding quotes from brilliant people telling this deep truth. And we know it, we really do. Yet we go along our days simply wasting them. Wasting time and beauty and joy when it is all around us, and so, so fleeting. Look at those daylilies. Yesterday they were so gorgeous, full of such beauty my eyes could barely take it all in, and now, it's over. They are soggy, spent, in the trash. There will be more beauty today; in the next post in fact, but not the same beauty as yesterday. If I didn't take the time to really look yesterday, my chance of seeing that particular splendor is over, never to come again. Appreciate, be grateful, truly enjoy without longing for the past or fearing for the future.

Of all the sage expressions about this notion, my favorite is from Lilias Folan. I offered her words as a quote du jour, and she says the same thing in a little different way. She speaks of being: "mindful of this moment. The past is through. The future hasn't come yet. Just be here now."

Addendum: Today, Wednesday the 30th, my daughter stopped by and saw today's daylily bouquet on the patio table. I told her about this entry, and she had a view of it that I wanted to share, something I didn't think of at all: the idea that when the day is over, it's done, and tomorrow is a new day. I love this, and thought you might, too.


  1. Words of wisdom and we can never be reminded of this truth enough Nan!

    Hugs ~

  2. So true Nan. Thanks for reminding me.

  3. See, you knew I needed to hear that today. Thanks for the wise words oh longtime friend of mine. Hugs to you and yours.

  4. I try desperately to live in the moment. As I walk our dog each afternoon, I force myself to enjoy what I see & hear, rather than spend the time making a mental list of all the things I need to do when I get home. I think this is one of the reasons I love riding my bike to work and paddling around on a lake in my kayak. I am so focused on that moment, never letting the future intrude on my thoughts. If only I could live every minute that way.

  5. I've been thinking the same thing recently. Life is too precious to waste. I love this sentence you wrote "Appreciate, be grateful, truly enjoy without longing for the past or fearing for the future." Thanks for this post.

  6. Thank you all for taking the time to comment. I'm so pleased it was meaningful to you. It strikes me each morning, and finally I wrote it down.

  7. Spoke right to my heart. I love this wisdom you share among the flowers.


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