Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wabi-sabi Peony

I love peonies at all stages of their life cycle.  George was asking me why my top two photos (above and below) were photos of a peony when it was past its prime.  I thought about it and it comes back to the idea of wabi-sabi.  It is easy to appreciate a flower when it is in full bloom.  Everything is perky, erect, saturated and striving toward the sun.  But after that, the stamens relax, the colors fade, and the inner parts, once hidden by all the fanfare, are revealed.  And if you keep watching you realize these inner parts are quite spectacular and hide the plant's most precious cargo.  I don't believe there could be a more beautiful metaphor for our lives than that.

But to be fair...all the stages are beautiful and I wanted an excuse to post all my favorite peony photos from this year. So here are a few more, including an amazing, gigantic, yellow Itoh peony my mom bought me last year plus a few of the old standards.

As I was looking around for wabi-sabi quotes I found this one by Amy Krouse Rosenthal that I thought captured the moment perfectly:

"I was noticing how more and more I was feeling both happy (acutally, content) and sad at the same time.  Happiness always seemed to be tinged with sadness, and strangely, vice versa.  I started asking around if anyone knew a word that meant happy and sad at the same time.  ...It is feeling content, peaceful, hyper-aware of loss, in awe, perfectly, gently happy/sad.  What is the word?"

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