“How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ah, but Ralph, you say “inconceivable antiquity” like it’s a bad thing! Some of us would like to think that nature is all the more appealing because of her longevity. Perhaps the flowers are not meant to be a cunning disguise of age, but rather a joyful, ever-changing celebration of the predictability of the seasons. After all, many a flowering tree or shrub only grows more lush and productive as the years pass. And the blooms disappear just long enough to keep things interesting.
A good example would be the lovely crape myrtles that fill our neighborhood and much of the South. Gorgeous green leaves in the springtime, vibrant blossoms through the hottest months of the summer, and depending on the variety, fall foliage that ranges from bright yellow to flaming red. They drop their leaves in the winter, but even their skeletal outlines have a stark beauty. And then, just when we are fed up with cold weather and bare branches, the cycle begins again.
Maybe we are meant to take a cue from nature’s perennial flowering. Underneath the showy cycles of grandeur lies an antiquity that hints of eternity. And the repetitive displays offer a freshness and youthful vigor reminding us that beauty, though changing, never really grows old.