I’m watering my dead flowers



the dead flowers that had me holding on to the past

I’ve kept these flowers stored in my fridge though they have been expired for three weeks. I should have known from the rotten smell that was slowly emitting. The stems are leaking a dark purple just as they had been when I first attempted to store them. The citrus orange colors of the petals have crumpled into brown, flaking tissue paper. The lime green stems are not what they used to be; they have grown soggy and weak—unable to hold the once beautiful flower that rested delicately on top of it.

Every few days I’ve been pulling them out, attempting to feed them the sunlight that fueled them once before. I measure the water, cool and crisp, and tip it slowly unto the roots until they lap up every last drop. I wait for the day they will sense the golden rays of the sun and slowly perk up again. I wait for the day when the stems will strengthen from the paramount water and the soft petals renew. That day will never come. 

I can’t grasp the concept of letting them go. What happens when I let them go? They will be gone forever. I’m trying to save my flowers while knowing it’s a lost cause. The water has now become a blazing fire that burns hotter with each pour. This is not a story that ends with beautiful roses; this is a story that ends with the realization that I’ve been holding on desperately to these shriveled plants.

I’ve been watering my dead flowers. 

But, I must say, it wasn’t always like that. These flowers used to be some of the brightest in the shop. They would outshine even the alliums with their unbreakable bonds. Everything seems invincible for a time. Only, the time can pass quickly and before you realize it, it’s gone.

This is not a story that ends with beautiful roses; this is a story that ends with the realization that I’ve been holding on desperately to these shriveled plants.”

And here I am, trying to grab at the stems and hold them close. Trying to preserve them in a film and frame them to be on display. As I reach out to secure them in my arms once more, their thorns prick me. They pierce my skin and hold on until I can learn to let go. When will I learn to let go? 

I have other flowers in my room, of course. They fill each corner of my desk with their bright colors and sweet smells. Each offers its own beauty and elements, yet I cling to the flowers that have chosen to let go. The flowers were slowly fading and shrinking into the ground. They dig down until their sensitive roots hit the soil and graze the rocks and crystals from strata. I’m losing these flowers to the rocks. The jagged minerals that seem to have possessed my bouquet into a decomposing, rotten hunk, giving itself away. 

I find myself pouring the saline solution onto their long stems. I wait for them to fill and finally renew. But everyone knows saline solution is only temporary. This is a temporary fix. A solution that won’t solve the underlying issue that is the death of my flowers.

I cannot save these flowers. 

I cannot keep them until they wither away to nothing. 

I cannot let myself hold on to something that has chosen a different path from mine. 

Dear flowers,

I will not let you take over my thoughts. I will not let you watch me spend my days wishing for the past. I will not give you the attention you crave over the others in my garden. I will not continue to keep you alive when you are as good as dead. 

But, I do not regret the time I had with these flowers. They’ve taught me that nothing gold can stay lustrious. Even the brightest star will fade out eventually, and I will learn to let it vanish.

I set my flowers outside and wait for the rain to wash them away. I wait for them to mold into the earth and start anew. To brighten their day for new people. People who need the love and beauty the flowers once gave me. But I will always remember them; the glowing bouquet that filled the air with its fragrant scents and eye-catching elegance. I am finally letting go of my flowers.