THE PETALS THAT FALL
by Arleen M. Kaptur
A flower bud offers so much hope and expectation for the potentially beautiful bloom that is to follow. We watch it gently open its petals and bask in the warm sunshine of the day. The fragrance fills the air with the aroma of life and even the night hours cannot fade its brilliant color and delicate details. But one day the petals begin to fall one by one onto the ground. Our flower begins to fade in beauty but a miracle lies within. There deep inside in the very plant that brought it to fulfillment, there lies the future growth and possibility for the following year and more breath-taking delight in new growing seasons.
Well, life is so much like this flower. Babies and children truly delight us with their fresh newness and comical antics. As they search to know the world around them, they can sometimes mess up ours. They spill, fall, fight, and grow. Our eyes deceive us as we don’t notice the evolving adult in that beautiful child. Our ears close to their endless chatter, and our feet get weary of following them and insuring their safety. Before long, and without any notice, they are young adults and capable of making decisions and following their own dreams.
We are adults for a longer time in our lives than we are children. How many times we long for those carefree days of letting each day bring on fun, joy, and total abandonment to whatever comes our way. As adults, we plan, schedule, and keep “to do” lists. We keep the world in motion and we clear a path for the future generations. Adults create products and innovations to make life easier, and more fulfilling. Bridges bring people and nations together, and bricks build homes and families. Cultures teach us to tolerate differences and history shows us what to avoid. Then, without any warning, we reach our golden years. Retirement from our jobs is as close as a heartbeat and we relinquish the heavy reins of industry and business to the next generation of adults. It becomes our time to bask in our achievements or to remember, smile, and relish the memories. Whether our thoughts bring the good times or the bad, they all had a hand in forming the life we have and the thoughts we possess.
As senior citizens, our eyes may not be as bright as a child’s, but they still carry a vision. Our hands are not smooth and delicate, the story of labor and hardship is etched in them forever. However, our words can still delight and bring joy to the youngest of the young and to the current adult world. We have memories, successes and failures to relate. Our stories give insight into what was and what can be. Each day still has its challenges but also its rewards. The hours can be filled with what we enjoy, or they can be wiled away while we wait for the inevitable. Life goes on whether we like it or not. To choose not to enjoy what it has in store will just crimp our ability to continue growing and achieving self-satisfaction and self-esteem. We are who we are and that is what we have to work with. We can sit back or we can reach up. The choice all through life is ours and so are the rewards and consequences.
In all, there is no bad stage to life. Each and every segment of our being has potential and possibility. As children we dream, as adults we do, and as seniors we remember and instruct. Each life cycle is wonderful in its own right and we need each and every one of them to have a world that is bright and as close to miraculous as we can get. We are never out for the count unless we choose to be. There is no bypassing the system, so the only beneficial way is to keep looking ahead, enjoying whatever stage were in, and also relishing what the other age-groups have to offer. There is delight in young and old eyes alike, and the tales are endless. A young child invents stories, adults seek out facts, and older people weave life into bite-size pieces. Our hands can age but our hearts stay in tune with our souls. We are what we want to be but then even that can change if we desire it. Whether its a child, an adult, or a senior citizen, there is life at its best! For convenience the calendar tell us where we are in life. But life is not a page in a diary book, it is a living, breathing, beautiful experience that can light up the universe and outshine the stars. We are life - so ENJOY!
©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 June
About the Author
Arleen Kaptur has written numerous articles, motivational booklets, cookbooks, and the novel: SEARCHING FOR AUSTIN JAMES