Blogging about life at a Benedictine monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota
Thursday, May 26, 2011
The Beauty of Tulips
In his book The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World, the author Michael Pollan explores the nature of domesticated plants from the dual perspective of humans and the plants themselves. He writes, "Everyday roles and values are suddenly, thrillingly, suspended, and astounding new possibilities arise." Naming particular desires, Pollan identifies the tulip with the desire for beauty.
Last week my housemates and I decided to tiptoe through the tulips at the Munsinger Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud. We were greeted with a riot of color, size and variety that, indeed, was thrilling and astonishing. There was an area of white tulips that particularly caught my attention. On the face of it, white may seem to have a boring sameness, yet here was a purity and simplicity that touched me deeply.
As we walked through this feast for the eyes, I couldn't help but stop along the way to examine particular flowers. Some were curled tightly, and with a feeling tenderness and reverence I gently opened the petals, peered into the center deep inside, and for a moment, everything was "suddenly, thrillingly suspended," and I saw "astounding new possibilities."
It occurred to me that I want to look at the people around me with the same reverent attention, so that I may somehow begin to appreciate the uniqueness and hidden beauty inside each person. I want to discover that each person can reveal how, as Pollan writes, Everyday roles and values are suddenly, thrillingly, suspended, and astounding new possibilities arise.
We left the garden and joined a throng of people at the Dairy Queen on Highway 10. What a perfect evening!
photo originally found at: http://www.flower-society.com/flower-type-tulips.html
This blog is maintained by a group of Sisters at Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. We try to post weekly and often succeed at that.
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