This past week my Facebook and Twitter feeds featured the above picture of daisies. Most of the related clickbait headlines or comments were practically glowing with panic and horror, like “Japanese radiation deforming flowers!” “Contamination mutates nature!” “Flowers, fruits and animals suffering years after tsunami-caused nuclear disaster…” “I think these are GMO flowers #seriously #eatrealfood #gmoisdeath #coconutwaterislife” (these aren’t real quotes, just general summaries of ones I saw).
After a quick click or two to check that the flowers had apparently been photographed in the area claimed, I stopped reading the wheezing, shrieking pieces that went along with it. But I found myself thinking about the photo every day.
I LOVE those little flowering champions!
Stubborn: adjective stub·born
: refusing to change your ideas or to stop doing something
: difficult to deal with, remove, etc.
In the face of all sorts of challenges, that plant just got on with living. Deliberately, stubbornly pushed its roots a little deeper down, in order to better stretch for the sun. Then, using its inbuilt DNA and resources, flowered. In spite of changes in radiation levels, not being in a nurtured garden, it just got on with life. And not only did it manage one flower, but several, and in bold and surprising ways.
Perverse: adjective per·verse
: wrong or different in a way that others feel is strange or offensive
Of course, humans freaked out because all the flowers weren’t normal – some were weird, perverse, wrong looking and not how they were meant to look, at least according to the people freaking out online. I’m betting that flower doesn’t know, doesn’t care, and (unless one of those pesky humans has come and dug it out or cut it up) it’s still there, photosynthesising away, flirting with the bees and hoping for rain.
We all have our own mutations, perversities, and quirks. Childhood memories, upbringing, genes, musical delights and unmet dreams. That’s not to say that they’re not all beautiful. It’s not to say that they’re all beautiful, either. We all have our own chunk of dirty life to deal with too, and some of us are far from rich, fertile, adored gardens. But God damn us if we don’t do something with where and who we are. He expects us to grow, to build, to try to try, and then try again. And He’s loving us even more than those stubborn daisies… even (maybe especially) when I’m throwing a temper tantrum in the mud.
Sometimes I look around at other people’s lives and think Wow, that is a beautiful Versailles garden… Oooh, gorgeous koi pond rockery! Fairy garden *sigh* … The trick for me is to not wish or try for myself to have or make that garden, because that’s not where I am. That’s not how I’m meant to grow. It’s also hard learning how not to resent the master gardener for not placing me in the easier parts of his garden, and not clarifying if I really am a messy Snowy Mountains mountain side (which I’m tending towards)… or a frustrated forgotten cactus.
I feel an affinity for those flowers. Stubborn, perverse little speck of life trying to be what it’s meant to be, right where it finds itself. All my family, when asked to describe me stubborn comes in at either first or second place. Weird usually follows. I was born that way, and of all my vices and virtues, those two have grown the strongest, and worked the hardest to help me survive and then thrive. It’s just one of the ways I am, among many others. There are countless, many unknown reasons why we’re all the way we are – humans, moods and flowers included – and I don’t have to understand them all, let alone most of them.
But the daisies reminded me that most of all, not only do I want to bloom in my own, crazy, improbable way, but also (instead of freaking out, cutting down or messing up), I want to admire and celebrate whenever someone – in spite of their own difficulties and problematic garden – with sheer stubborn perversity manages to bloom as well.
Definitions from here.
What type of garden or landscape do you think your life is? Do you have qualities or traits that you see as a positive, that are usually portrayed as a negative? Do you see beauty or grace in different?