Wednesday, June 10, 2015

an embarrassment of riches.

i saw this bloom yesterday just outside my office at Vanderbilt, where we often describe the campus as being encircled by a "magnolia curtain." a lovely thought.
what a privilege to be surrounded by magnolias.

so beautiful. so ridiculous. so enchanting.

magnolias are unashamedly conspicuous. huge by flower standards, they burst forth effortlessly and abundantly from the tough, woody branches of what are essentially overgrown shrubs.

these shrubs (seemingly unaware that they are not trees) grow to such heights that many of their blooms are never in peril of being seen by human eyes, much less plucked. but when one sees a magnolia blossom in repose on a low-lying branch, it is tempting, of course.

the stems are impenetrable without good gardening sheers, making the bloom that much more desirable: the impossibly white diaphanous slivers of velvet, perfectly cupped to catch dew and rain, its delicate scent a whisper, an afterthought.

so ostentatious. so humble. so improbable.

when i see them, I am reminded that beauty is indeed all around us.

i am reminded that it is not such a bad thing to be more than you need to be, to achieve more than what others expect of you.

it is not such a bad thing at all to disregard categories and stereotypes and humble origins and simply be who you were born to be: your ridiculous wonderful self.

1 comment:

suzyfein said...

I love this! One of my daughter's current imaginary friends is named Magnolia, who is a magnolia tree. Your post touched my heart, especially when thinking of my little girl. Each and every word seems to apply to her.

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