i was looking at this shot above when i suddenly thought of perfection.

it’s a simple iphone shot, a top angle view of some flowers floating in an urli. i was enjoying the play of colours, shapes, freshness… the word beauty was bound to drift into mind. my eyes strayed over the tiny red flowers, i don’t know their name, to the playful red powderpuffs, to the pink frangipanis, and as i reached and stared at the white jasmines, this thought came along.

who says nothing is perfect?

here was such a flawless structure, such intricacy, balance, aesthetics… fluid geometry. five ingeniously shaped petals around a raised beautiful feathery crown at the centre, within which nestles a tiny point of colour, no doubt some essential flower part… stamen, pollen, something. it really didn’t matter. the structure was everything. yet i knew, if there was no essence, no content to the form, it would never be quite as captivating.

no, i don’t want to rush into the botany of it right now. no talk of sepals and corolla. i am sure some purely rational appraisal of this not uncommon flower in the tropics will take us straight to natural selection, the reason why flowers have or don’t have colour, the exact utility of scent, and all that.

but even with all one’s knowledge, thankfully i have very little, can one really “know” why there are more than two hundred types of jasmine? or why flowers have so many colours? this summer, i was in a few cities in europe… the number of colours, shapes, and forms of flowers i saw left me happy and a bit dazed. i could only stare. why are there so many shades, so many ways of petals? so many kinds of flowers?

not getting philosophical here, just wondering about the vastness of just one aspect of what occurs in nature. and yes, perfection.

some flowers are results of human intervention… hybridization, etc. but really most aren’t. and not the one that caught my attention. i think it was born as it’s seen today. why five such exactly arrayed petals describing 360 degrees so gorgeously? why such intricately shaped and folded back petals? why the crown so flippant yet regal, the centre gently pulling in one’s gaze?

i don’t really know why flowers are so pretty. or why there are so many kinds. or colours. if pollination is its only story, i’d just find it hard to believe. but what i suddenly felt looking at this one and it left me excited enough to write, was that perfection.

perfection exists, i kept thinking. some things are perfect in this world. and perhaps perfection needs no reason.

also perhaps to see the perfection within something seemingly imperfect, we need to stare at flowers more. they train us to see and feel and sense what’s perfect.


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