The other day I purchased tulips.

Not just one bouquet, but two.

It’s rare that I buy fresh flowers and I couldn’t decide between the crimson and the violet, so I figured why not do both.

When I first brought these beautiful spring flowers home their petals were tight and the stems were upright in a straight line. One by one I trimmed the bottom of each flower and placed it into the cool water of the clear glass vase. Satisfying not only to my eyes, but also to my heart, I joyfully placed one bunch on the kitchen table and the other in the living room and went to bed.

The next morning as I sleepily made my way downstairs the first thing to catch my attention was that overnight the tulips had radically shape-shifted.

Not only were their petals now wide open, but their stems had splayed apart and were wildly stretching in every different direction.

At once I was filled with awe and sadness. Amazed at how swiftly these previously closed little petals had blossomed and expanded, and sorrowful with the reality of how quickly it had all gone and knowing these beauties would not last much longer.

And then, I became my own witness and noticed the wild roller coaster of my mind. I stopped myself, took a deep breath and decided to fully appreciate the tulips just as they were in that very moment.

I started to envision what it would be like when the first petal dropped and how I would need to clean pollen off the kitchen table, and eventually jam the flower remnants into my compost box.

To be alive is to change. To change is to evolve. To evolve is to let go.

Therefore, to be alive, we must let go.

Just like the tulip, every single one of us is specifically designed for an entirely unique trajectory. Seasons of budding, blossoming, wild expansion and decay. Times of straight lines, clarity and focus, phases of twists and turns, highs and lows. Moments when our colors shine brightly and others when we are wilting.  

When we can catch ourselves in the act of resisting the true nature of any given life stage and instead start marveling at the utter miracle of how life has carried us to this very moment in time, the internal and external conversations start to change.

We begin to value the longevity of this process called life. Birth, growth, death and rebirth belong to us all and we cannot have one stage of the cycle without the others.

No matter who you are or what might be going on in your life right now, let’s be gentle and generous with both ourselves and others. We are all in these wild waters of life together, cycling in and out, up and down. As we each change, grow, evolve and let go, let’s remember that every single part of the process is equally sacred, valuable and meaningful if we recognize it as such.  

In service,