What azaleas have taught me

Azaleas are flowering bushes that come alive with brilliant color in early springtime here in the South. It’s a joy to see them emerge each year into the fullness of their glorious beauty. Harbingers of the growing season, azaleas awaken the garden with their bright and sunny blossoms.

They are a dream in spring, but a dream that is short lived.

The sad part of having azaleas is watching those bright and colorful blossoms fade and die away at the end of their super short lives.

This said, what exactly can azaleas teach us?

Let me share what have I learned.

An azalea bush flowers for a very brief time. It comes alive and radiates its colors, bringing beauty into the world. It attracts the bees, giving them an ample and early chance to begin the pollination process. For a short while, there are a lot of bees literally buzzing around the azalea bush. When the blossoms begin to fade away, the bees move on to other places and other flowers that may be coming into bloom.

Observing this, truly watching it for the first time in my life, I realized that this is exactly what it means to “stop and smell the roses.” It is critical to be aware of everything around us, even the smallest things like a flower blossom.

How else can we experience what it means to be a human?

Life is so incredibly short, and as I creep toward yet another milestone birthday I am aware how precious and valuable time is. I need to learn to slow down. Take a breath. Open my eyes and look at everything around me.

That includes watching the elusive azalea blooms.

To everything there is a season, and there are many more seasons than just the Big Four.

In this case, it’s azalea season. The azaleas have a message for me. If I’m to enjoy the flowers, it’s important to go out and spend time with them.

You can take this and apply it to everything in life, to every season and to every situation. What is happening right now where you live? What season do you find yourself in, this spring?

If you blink, you might miss something really important. You might not see the beauty that surrounds you. And if you are like me, you want to experience as much of life as you can.

So look around. See what you can see. And see how it makes you feel to observe the world around you.

Let me know what YOU see.

Photo credit: flowerpictures.net



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