“Our very life depends on continuous acts of beginning. But these beginnings are out of our hands; they decide themselves.
Beginning precedes us, creates us. There is nothing to fear in the act of beginning.
More often than not it knows the journey ahead better than we ever could."
John O’Donohue


26 February 2014: Marin County

Arrangement

The purple anemones from the Sunday market
are beautiful all week long. 
But there is an instant, 
sometime on Wednesday, 
when they pass from blooming beauty
into dying beauty. 

I always seem to miss it. 
It must happen when I'm showering, 
or lost in thought, 
or when I turn for just a moment
to brush back the hair from my son's eyes. 

Or maybe it was spoken this way into the primordial wind: 
how it was to be,
this ministry of cut flowers. 
That we should see not the apex of their decline,
their resistant throes, 
but only the exuberant stretching to sunlight, 
the attenuated praise for fresh water--
and then, ineffably, the graceful surrender
of bowing leaves and drifting petals, 
the easy disintegration of severed stems
into that fecund stew, 
breathing out low tide and high farmland
at once.