“Oh! How exquisite God’s creation is!”
“What a glorious sight! We can’t take our eyes off!”
These were the utterances made by me and my family members, standing in front of full bloomed ‘Night Queen’ flower or ‘Nishagandhi’ in the vernacular. Living in a world where there is “no time to stand and stare” or drink in the beauties of creation and praise the awesomeness of our Creator; this was an immense change – one that brought peace and freshness to the mind, a beautiful feast for the eyes, a soft silky touch to the fingers and above all, a thought provoking reminder about life’s vanity, transience and waxing and waning glory.
The flower is one of God’s most colourful and perfect creations. Who can pass by a bed of flowers of myriad hues, shapes and sizes, without stopping to admire it and wonder at God’s perfect artistry? None of man’s never-ending efforts to genetically produce lookalikes of natural beauties will transcend the Creator’s majestic and unique craftsmanship. Watching the flower at its full glory, at midnight, with its not so strong but powerful smell and the inner parts so delicately but intricately interwoven, sent a chain of thoughts running through the mind. More so, because this same flower was closed with none of its exquisiteness displayed, moments before. The sad part – the head that was held high, drooped and bent down some time after showing off its full splendour.
Man comes into the world as a being created out of a seed, passes through different seasons, the best and the most energetic one being youth and then wanes off from life’s stage in the sunset years. What won’t man do to extend the years of youth with all of its zeal and robustness? But then as written in the Bible,
… in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
– Psalm 90:6
Man plays a pivotal role, when the blood runs strongly through his veins. Many depend on their outward beauty or robust appearance to catch the attention of the world. They forget that these momentary pleasures are fleeting! The king can’t wear his crown forever, kingdoms don’t last forever. The words of King Solomon echo thus,
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted
– Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
Of course, when admiring the garb that the Lord has given His myriad creations, let’s remember that, if He takes pains to clothe these and other flowers so wondrously, how much does He care to take care of us, who He has given first place among His creations!
Another thought that struck me was that we have many friends and well-wishers in the days when we have health, wealth and fame. Let there be a dearth in one of these and we find that we are all alone. No one will cast even a glance at us. The exact timeliness of the flower in getting prepared to play its role and then bloom in its full splendour and glory and then die off, brings home to us the fact that, we have to fulfil the task assigned to us by our Creator, punctually and meticulously. The presence of the smallest seed to the vast expanse of galaxies and constellations displays an indescribable precision and workmanship, of the PERFECT ARTIST!
I thank God for enabling my Aunt in Thiruvananthapuram to let us be partakers in this rich experience that her well-tended garden, with its exotic flowers like the Nishagandhi offered us. On the morning before exiting life’s stage, my Uncle, an ardent nature-lover and vivid poet, showed my Aunt a beautiful red hibiscus and said, ”Life is also like this.” What a nugget of truth of the reality of life! Before the curtain of life is pulled down, we have to play our roles well and then make a graceful exit. As the Psalmist says,
I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
Written in July 2008. Click here for original post.