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Picture Perfect

I woke up on a beautiful Saturday morning, I made my coffee, poured it in a cup, and looked through the kitchen window facing the back yard. My eyes were immediately drawn to a beautiful fiery orange lily flower.  I promised myself to go out in the backyard later in the day and take a picture of it. Two hours later, after breakfast, two finished loads of laundry and one repotted plant, I finally ventured in the back yard committed to taking the picture of the lily.

I turned on the camera app on my cell phone and zoomed in, eager to capture the beauty of the flower. Then I saw the ants… Several ants crawling on the petals, and as I looked closely, I saw a baby grasshopper resting on one of the petals, keeping its distance from the busy ants.

My initial reaction was to shake the ants off of the flower lest they spoil my picture.  I lifted my arm reaching for the stem and then I suddenly stopped in midair. Do I shake off the ants from the plant and make my perfect picture or do I take the picture with ants, grasshopper, and all? I took the picture without disturbing anything, just as a remote observer passing by and witnessing the ever-evolving and changing life.  

I wondered how many times we have staged our pictures, hoping for the picture-perfect, forcefully smiling, pretending to be happy, when we are hurting inside. We try at all costs to avoid discomfort and inconveniences, and always long for the moment when everything will be perfect. Well, it will never be perfect – this is life, chaotic and unpredictable.

The ants did not make the lily flower less beautiful – what makes life such an adventure are all the little imperfections along the way. So, take that picture next time and don’t fret, capture life in all its rawness and rough edges, and let it surprise you.

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