For the flowers are great blessings. For the Lord made a Nosegay in the meadow with his disciples and preached upon the lily. For the flowers have great virtues for all senses. For the flower glorifies God and the root parries the adversary. For the flowers have their angels even the words of God's creation. For there is a language of flowers. For there is a sound reasoning upon all flowers. For flowers are peculiarly the poetry of Christ.
Brave old-flowers! Wall-flowers, Gilly flowers, Stocks! For even as the field-flowers, from which a trifle, a ray of beauty, a drop of perfume, divides them, they have charming names, the softest in the language; and each of them, like tiny, art-less ex-votos, or like medals bestowed by the gratitude of men, proudly bears three or four.
There is a lot of difference between offering a garland of flowers bought from a shop and one that we make out of flowers picked from our home garden. When we plant the flowers, water them, pick the flowers, make the garland and take it to the temple, thoughts of God alone live in our minds. The Lord accepts anything offered to Him with intense Love. When we buy a garland at a store and place it on the deity it is only a ceremonial act while the other is a garland of pure devotion and an act of love.
Early in life, when I first saw waterlilies on the ripples of a lake, I didn't think they were flowers which grew from the water, but rather flowers which were mirrored from the shore into the lake. So many flowers grow in the silent waters of our souls, and they unfold their petals over the glaze of our consciousness: they grow from within us, but we think them reflections from the external world.
Give me artificial flowers - porcelain and metal glories - neither fading nor decaying, forms unaging. Flowers of the splendid gardens of another place, where Forms and Styles and Knowledge dwell. I love flowers made of glass or gold, true Art's true gifts, their painted hues more beautiful than nature's, worked in nacre and enamel, with perfect leaves and branches.
You remember when you were maybe five years old and you went out in the morning and you looked at the day - and it was a very, very beautiful day. You looked at flowers and they were very beautiful flowers. Twenty-five years later, you get up in the morning, you take a look at the flowers - they are wilted. The day isn't a happy day. Well, what's changed? You know they are the same flowers, it's the same world. Something must have changed. Well, probably it was you.
We say that flowers return every spring, but that is a lie. It is true that the world is renewed. It is also true that that renewal comes at a price, for even if the flower grows from an ancient vine, the flowers of spring are themselves new to the world, untried and untested. The flower that wilted last year is gone. Petals once fallen are fallen forever. Flowers do not return in the spring, rather they are replaced. It is in this difference between returned and replaced that the price of renewal is paid. And as it is for spring flowers, so it is for us.
A long time ago, there were lovers that lived on the opposite ends of a river. They promised to meet when the camellia flowers bloomed. But it rained so much the boat couldn't cross the river. So the two couldn't meet, even though the camellia flowers had all bloomed. Lets meet again. Before the camellia flowers wilt.
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