When I came out to get coffee, it was there on the counter, a single white tulip by itself in the morning light. It was almost angelic, translucent, glowing. It filled me with a feeling that went wide. It made think of the funny thing about tulips, how they seem to exist for our delight and joy.
Every spring the tulips come. They do seem to appear at once. What a show they put on!
Together they stand. Together they reach for the sun and bend in the breeze, gently without a thought, softly without a sigh. In some places they fill fields clear to the horizon, as if a painter has made them real, in the way of a baby's laugh. They’re like dancers, graceful and open hearted. They’re like souls without burden or care. No other flower is quite the same as they are. Fragile, dignified, light as air.
Yet for a tulip to grow into a beautiful flower, it lives in the dark, cold, cold ground from the first freeze until after the thaw. Without the dark, without freezing temperatures, the bulb won’t grow. It won’t make food for the flower. In the spring there would be only sad, lonely leaves.
And . . .
In the spring those flowers I see only last for a week, maybe two, not nearly as long as I dreamed they did, not nearly as long as I wished they would.
The funny thing about tulips is that a graceful, open-hearted flower would work so hard to exist for our delight and joy.
−me strauss Letting me be