We were in the car at a stop light a couple days ago, and while we waited for the light to change my eyes were scanning the street corner. My eyes fell upon a red carnation that was lying on the ground next to the base of a street light. All around it was rocks, mud, no grass to speak of, and a lot of little bits of trash. I stared at that flower for quite a while, then the light changed and we moved on.
So many questions came to mind. Why had it been left there? Did it just randomly fall out of a bouquet? Did someone toss it aside like a piece of trash? Was it meant for a special occasion? Will it be missed? Did anyone get to enjoy the fragrance of the carnation before it was left on the curb? I just could not get it out of my mind.
What I almost did was get my camera and go back to that place to capture the image of it lying there in the rubble. Instead I got out my journal and pen and wrote several pages, even a little poetry about this lost flower left at the side of the road. What I wanted to do was pick it up and put it in a vase on display, safe in my house, rescue it from such an untimely demise. Instead I came to understand that my lesson was in leaving it be.
My nudge was to create this collage, to try and capture the impact of this lone red carnation in such an unlikely place. It’s such a small thing, a flower left on the curb, but it has influenced me in surprising ways, and is forever blazed in my memory, leaving me changed. And more aware.