Today's Flowers: Between the Lily and the Turtle

I am reading Neil Gaiman's 1997 collection of short stories, Smoke and Mirrors. In one story he notes the sorrow that accompanies a father's joy as he fills his sleeping children's Christmas stockings. It is the sorrow that comes with knowing that nothing lasts forever, that time won't let you sit still and be comfortable--not for too long, anyway. I love Gaiman's writing for saying what I know and feel so well. I feel this sorrow when I walk along the beach--or anywhere at all, really.

Last Sunday, for example, I crossed the street from the beach to a bike path and encountered this fully formed, beautiful tortoise crushed to death strangely and neatly on the side of the road where it seemed he should have been completely safe.

There's something about these reptiles and the way they move that reminds me of human vulnerability. Or maybe it's the shell--somehow emblematic of all we do to shield ourselves from the blows of daily living. We can't shield ourselves completely or forever. Life and death come, and they exact a heavy price.

Stepping away from the turtle, moving on, I came across these beautiful lilies in the sand. The morning light seemed to catch them on fire without burning them. They were so delicate and beautiful, alive with the breath of the sea breeze and doing what flowers do. Somewhere between the turtle and the flower, I live. Sorrow tempers joy as joy tempers sorrow. The thing is to live while you can.

Comments

  1. Yes and yes. There is only today. Actually, only right now.

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  2. yes, the thing is to live while we live
    and life and death our part of our experience, to be embraced as best we can. a lovely and touching post. wishing you a lovely Sunday and beyond.

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  3. Instalate please " translate".
    Mam problem ze zrozumieniem dobrze tekstu, a Twój blog jest interesujący :)

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  4. So sad to see that someone went out of their way to crush the turtle!! Sigh!!
    Yes! Living in the moment is so important.
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  5. Yes I know exactly how you feel and I have often felt the same way.
    It makes you very sad because when it comes to the world and the heavens,conscious existence or non existence is irrelevant.
    Life keeps going, changing moving along, with or without you.

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  6. Sandy, the turtle is a very sad sight to see. You have a touching post and beautiful flowers! Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

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  7. Your Morning Glories are certainly looking glorious in the morning sun. Have a Happy Fourth Sandy.

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  8. life is full of opposition: birth and death. but knowing and having faith in a plan of resurrection of all elements-human, plants and animals gives me peace and faith in the creator of all.

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  9. Beautifully said. Yes, I always try to remember the words from a poem by Asse Lilleskare Faugstad, "...released whole and unharmed from the cage that held it bound." I say it as a prayer, when death comes, in unexpected ways... for it is surely true.

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  10. Beautiful reflection. We were on our way to the beach and on the road, we saw dead animals who got run over by cars while crossing the road. Sad but life is more beautiful to behold because it can suddenly just go away.

    Thanks for sharing this !

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  11. It is sad to see the tortoise crushed and I know what you mean about the vulnerability in spit of the tough outer covering. The flowers are lovely.

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  12. One needs to focus on the beauty of life. There are too many sorrows that could brind you down.

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  13. Turtle soup?
    Nice flowers Sandy.

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  14. I feel sad about the turtle. The blooms are so pretty, though.


    My entry.

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  15. Beautiful, poignant words to go with your photos. The poor tortoise. I hope it wasn't killed maliciously. The flowers remind me of morning glories, but they're lavender.

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  16. The flowers are beautiful - a member of the morning glory family, I think, but I do love the colour!!

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  17. That is so sad about the tortoise.

    Gaiman is on my list. I have several so called young adult books that I'm going to read.

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  18. Can't get over the tortoise, tho the flower is lovely...
    Sandi

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  19. It's heart-wrenching to see that turtle, and so many like it, as I know this is an ongoing concern. It's a sad lack of empathy.

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  20. So sad to see that turtle, lovely the flowers of the second picture.

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