When (Not If) The Flower Falls

going to seed

“All flesh is like grass…and it’s glory, like the flower of grass…the grass withers, the flower falls…”

Growing up, I secretly thought I was ugly.

(I don’t feel that way  anymore.)

(Although I am on the fast track to losing what’s left of my petals)

Petals = my youthful look.

The interesting thing is, the longer I live, the inner person of my heart continues to grow more and more contented and secure, even as the exterior husk which is my body, continues to dry up.

As I was setting up our self serve apple wagon this morning, my mind was thinking about the various motivations that drive people….ambition, greed, lust, anger, love, self sufficiency, quest for knowledge, justice, religious ferver, physical beauty…and my mind went to a brief encounter I had with a nurse on Friday as I was walking the halls of a local clinic.  I’ll call her Jean.

We knew Jean before she was a nurse.  Haven’t seen her in years.  Always liked her.  She’s sharp, articulate, and I’m sure makes a great nurse.   I’ve always felt a little sadness when I’ve interacted with her.   She’s  projected this neediness with her beauty.  On a scale of 1 t0 10, (physical beauty)  I would give her a 10.   That’s all well and good when you’re 20, or 30, or in her case 40, but now that she’s getting into her 50’s  that same aging process that has been working me over, has finally started showing some effects on her perfect body.   Her face was puffy.

I’ve said it more than once to my wife...”How is Jean  going to deal with it, when  she looses her youthful look? ” At that point, she better not have all her eggs in the “I am beautiful” basket.

There is external beauty and their is an inner beauty. (This applies to both men and women.)

Have you ever met a 70 or 80 year old person who radiates beauty?  I have. It’s the hidden person of the heart.  I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know, but just like an ice burg, where 70% is below water,  so too, the bulk of who we really are is hidden, below the surface, and it has absolutely nothing to do with our exterior body.

So, if you’re concerned about the aging process and how you are going to deal with it…I have some good news for you. 🙂  You do have control over how you respond.  If until now if your self worth has been wrapped up in your looks, it’s time to let that go.  By all means, do your best to make yourself as physically attractive as you can, but it’s a loosing battle.

Here’s a suggestion…if you’re game 🙂 Find an older person who radiates beauty, (they’re out there) and ask them what makes them tick.  Ask them how they dealt with the loss of their youth…

or go talk with a counselor. 🙂

We had a friend named Helen who passed away last Fall.  She was well into her 80’s. I’ve written  about her before.  Helen was one of those people who radiated inner beauty. After the death of her sister, husband and grandson (by suicide) in less than a year’s time,  in a candid moment, I asked her how she was able to deal with all of that heartache???

I really wanted to know.

Because she was not living  in a state of denial.

Here’s what she said…“Doug, it’s not like I don’t grieve (because I do). It’s just that I’ve learned you have to let things go…or they will consume you.”




14 thoughts on “When (Not If) The Flower Falls

  1. Aah, Letting go…I was left with a baby to raise… when I let go of the anger I held deep deep inside, both the internal and external transformation was amazing. Very nice post – a great message for all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know exactly what I’m talking about. The trick is to get to that point where you can let go…sometimes I have been “stuck” for weeks and months (and even years.) If you don’t mind me asking, what was it that finally helped you let go of the anger?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What is this “losing youthfulness” of which you speak? Personally, I’m getting younger every year. 🙂

    More seriously, I’m not willing to accept the mind/body dichotomy mention. We’re whole individuals: mind, body, spirit. What affects one, affects the others. There are certain signs of aging (gray hair, loss of height, arthritis, etc.) that aren’t going to be avoided, but as you say, there are eighty-year-olds who are younger, even physically, than some forty-year-olds.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m too busy living life to be anything other than comfortable in my own skin. I think the reason older folks (particularly women) manage to be ‘youthful’ and happy with themselves….is that though they were subject to, they didn’t spend their lives being bombarded by media (tv,magazines, etc) telling them that they needed to ‘improve’ themselves. When I do watch the odd bit of tv or pick up a magazine, I am astonished at the sheer volume of ads/commercials telling us we need to be thinner, our hair should be such and such color (no grey), our makeup needs fixing, and if we religiously slap on this or that type of cream we will be ageless. That’s barely cracking the surface of the ‘appearance’ issue. Then there’s the ‘not good enough/smart enough’ issue. I listened to the wife of a farmer down the road – tell me she was thinking of giving up on this farming thing because she felt herself to be a ‘lousy farm wife’ because she’s not confident enough to operate the big equipment. I asked her where she got her definition of ‘farm wife’ from. This is s woman who thinks nothing of turning her kitchen into an inferno during haying season to make sure she’s put on enough of a spread to feed all the haying help and their families. It leaves me to wonder how we came to putting so much pressure on ourselves to be other than what we are?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post DM. I have seen beautiful older women that would just catch my eye and I would think, “I want to be like that when I am her age.” Gray hair and wrinkles and all.

    I have eight older siblings, two of them sisters. One is 20 years older, the other 10 years older, and we closely resemble. My point being, I pretty much know what I will look like as I age. Both are very vibrant women in their 50’s and 60’s and carry themselves well. The oldest takes her horse to the mountains for long weekends of mountain trail rides…my mother went hiking in Alaska and then a few months later parasailing – at age 78, just weeks before she passed suddenly. So I guess I have good role models for aging with grace and dignity.

    I agree about the letting go, although it is something I struggle with (unresolved grief and anger issues, sadly.)

    I wish these were things that were talked about more in our society. Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

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