The round glass vase of tulips has been on the dining table for a couple of topsy-turvy weeks. I push them to one end when I put placemats out before a meal or when we sit down to play a game. We watch them go from tight waxy buds to bright and beautiful flowers and, for the longest time, watch as petals twist and fall to the tabletop.
I resist tossing them in the trash. There is still beauty in the fading flowers. Surely they still serve a purpose. I’m not ready to let them go.
Then, one morning, I spy something on the fabric cushion of the dining chair at the end of the table. I bend, pick it up, and lift it for a closer look. It is a fallen tulip stamen. I brush dried flecks of pollen from the chair and listen as the indigo stamen between my fingers whispers: “it’s time”.
Mid-morning, when I push the vase to the end of the table to make more room for Makiya who is writing a book on my laptop, she looks up from her work.
“I think it’s time to throw those flowers away.”
What remained unspoken for so long has been said and there’s no denying the truth any longer. Sometimes it takes someone to speak it to incite action.
I take the vase to the garage, lift the finished flowers from it, and toss them into the trash. They’ve served us well long past their glorious peak. Later, I lift the empty heavy glass vase and put it back in the cupboard to wait.