October 6, 2022

The Beauty Of Decay And Death

Dead flowers. They suffer from ageism. Don't they have a beauty all their own?

Fall is a reminder that after the abundance of spring and summer, decay and death take the stage. They have their own special purpose and beauty.

If there is no death, there can be no life. 

The decomposing and the decomposers work to cycle the building blocks of life back into the system, to be reborn in spring. 

Eventually even the decomposers will die and  decompose.

Round and round it goes, as it has for billions of years.

All beautiful.

All necessary.

That is why when I think of death I try not to see it as the sad endpoint of a linear process. It is a joyful part of the circle of life, the wheel of change that sees things descend, then rise again.

Flowers die, people die, leaves die, stars die, institutions die, and civilizations die. 

Everything will eventually attain the beauty of death in the Fall and Winter of their cycle. Out of that, new life will rise in an exuberant release of new potential.

I have some cut flowers that I have been watching carefully. They are now well past their "best before" date, and are revealing a beauty and character they didn't possess when they were young and fresh.

Decay and death. They happen, and it is a good thing.

Happy Fall/Spring. 




  1. I love zinnias! They never drop their petals. Just as your picture shows, they're beautiful in every stage of life. Just like me.

    1. Anonymous5:30 PM

      Thank you for identifying our flowers. They were a gift, and we were not familiar with them. So nice.

      - Gregg

    2. Zinnias are very reliable to grow, abundant and hardy, and they reseed easily. I have them in my vegetable garden every summer, but I haven't planted them in several years. And butterflies love them.

  2. Personal philosophy/outlook: We are all made of star stuff. We are all eternal, at least as eternal as the universe, because we have all been here, in one form or another, for as long as the universe has been here. When we die in our present form we return to the earth/universe and become, once again, part of the eternal cycle. We have always been part of the cycle; we simply give back some of what we have taken and become, once again, part of the lives of multiple billions of life forms we can't even imagine. We don’t die, we change, but change as we all know, is always hard.


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