when i reached the days in my coming of age that many of us do where i was thinking, hard, about whether the pain of existing was worth bearing, i was walking along a stone path on campus one morning and saw some yellow crocuses. there was also still snow about; these were the first bold flowers of spring after the long northeast winter. the larger realization i had i those days was that while i could end my pain by leaving my body, doing so would also mean there was no chance i'd ever feel joy again. it seemed worth it to give things a go. the little place i hung that on was flowers. i knelt down, looked at the crocus, and decided that it was worth staying alive for the opportunity to experience flowers. i've never considered leaving again, and of course i grew up enough to realize that pain, like everything else, is impermanent.
flowers still say something huge for me about the glory and madness of existing.