There’s something wonderfully decadent about peonies. I absolutely love them and I always look forward to November when they come briefly into the shops. I particularly like this colour – it’s totally out there! I remember the day I first bought an arrangement of them – it was for a friend’s 50th birthday over ten years ago. I didn’t know her that well, but she’s a larger than life character (strange turn of phrase that!) and when I saw the stems in the florist’s window – I just knew they would be the perfect gift. In retrospect, they were a pastel link…these ones would have made the gift even more perfect – big, bold, blowsy and beautiful.
But the really sad thing about these gorgeous shocking pink peonies, is that they opened from bud far too quickly and their colour faded noticeably with each passing day. Today, as I discarded them (I don’t want to say ‘threw them out’) the petals had turned to a pale buttery cream and fell off with each slight movement of the stem. A week – that was the length of their blooming life!
Life’s like that I guess. It takes a while for us flower, the full blossom is pretty short-lived, then we fade. However, the positive side of our fading – as distinct from the real flower – is that while we’ve been in full flower we’ve developed soul, and soul isn’t always obvious.You have make eye contact, establish a brief connection and the soul is uncovered. I’m thinking of one of my very dear friends who just oozes beauty from every pore. She is full of love for everyone she meets, she touches hearts – she has a truly beautiful soul. We, unlike the faded peonies, are certainly not past our ‘use by’ dates.