Today, per homework assignment, I went out and observed nature. Not that nature is exactly hard to observe on this lush campus; around here it literally engulfs you, swarms around you, and gets under your skin... Mosquitoes anybody... To observe nature in the most comfortable manner, I planted myself spread eagle on a shady outdoor bench. Screened from the bustle of busy hallways by a vibrant thicket of torch ginger I had a little Eden all to myself. The sun was warm and the breeze was wet and cool. Before I knew it though the only thing observing nature was the outside of my eyelids. Nature was probably observing me, and making the most of my unguarded lunch box. For a blissful hour and a half I drifted in a blurry world free of homework, deadlines, or confusing people, then reality faded back in. Nature had to stay where it was I had to go back to my life of homework, deadlines, and confusing people.
A few hours later I found myself sitting on a similar bench waiting for an appointment. My pen scratched across a page as I tried to make the most of my time but it soon fell still as my eyes were drawn to the red ginger where buzzing bees glinted in the setting sun. Life seemed so simple for the bees. They had one purpose, and they knew it. They lived; they served; they died. Their work was laid out before them and their deadline was the setting of the sun. Relationships were simple matters of life, not complicated webs of love and betrayal. For a moment I envied the simple straightforward lives and beauty of nature. Those crimson blooms did not ever spend their days alone, or have to wonder if their beauty was shadowed by a neighbor. They just simply were, and were beautiful. But then it struck me, I didn't want to just be, and be beautiful. I didn't even want to have a simple life. Maybe people are complicated sometimes... a lot ... maybe they hurt or confuse you ... a lot ... but with each wound comes new understanding and growth.
Life might still be beautiful if people always made sense, but it would be a monotonous stale beauty. It would be a life of permanent calm summers. The sun would always shine softly and the breeze blow gently. But that would get boring very quickly, like too many sugar cookies. It is the stormy days, and the still grey calm afterwards, the stinging rain, and blazing sunsets that make each day something different; something new and fascinating. It is the thrill of looking into someone's eyes and trying to put words to everything unsaid that builds a fifth dimension to life's beauty. As we watch the blush colored sunrise of friendship, no one knows if the clouds on the horizon forebode a mid-day storm, or if that day is destined to end in bright glory. Unlike birds, bees, and red ginger flowers, people don't live a set routine of interaction. Their lives are not a patterned rhythmic dance. People soar, leap, and crash. Sometimes you find yourself in a light waltz, a fiery tango, a large busy line dance, or a sad lilting solo, but it is this ride through each other's lives that makes each day a surprise; each day a new chance.