All Dried Up… and Beautiful

Dear Reader:

This past Christmas, for the first time, I bought lots of dried eucalyptus leaves at an outdoor plant market and put them in a bucket of water… soon the minty, woodsy scent of Christmas prevailed…so during the long winter months following , I found some more dried stems and some artificial dried vines and flowers to add to the mixture… just something to make me smile and appreciate the beauty of one corner… with an occasional wisp of mint.

It got me thinking… or perhaps the correct word – “re-thinking”… that dried flowers have their own unique beauty. Physical beauty passes with time/ replaced by a wisdom beauty that only comes … with time and life’s experiences.

As I sit here on a sunny afternoon … my two Valentines bouquets from family… are holding strong and bright… but by this time next week… they will have been tossed and the only thing salvageable will be any dried leaves or stems left in the arrangement.

You don’t have to be a history buff, necessarily, to appreciate traveling the world and touring ” ruins” from ancient civilizations. What we sometimes mislabel a ” ruin” is now appealing to us…no longer for its original beauty but today it is the exciting history behind its colorless, broken columns that still appeals to us in appreciating the people who originally designed and built it.

Take the Parthenon for example. When we connect memory and feeling to our appraisal… we can then see the wisdom and beauty still intact within.

The Parthenon today- dedicated to the goddess Athena in 5th BC.
Artist’s vision of what it once looked like/bright gold, vivid colors/ new and physically pleasing to the eye * ( Except back then spectators weren’t allowed inside… could only view it from the outside)

Remarkably… in 1897 … a replica of the Pantheon was built in Nashville, Tennessee for their Centennial Celebration… amazing feat.

I don’t think any of us want to be regarded as a ” ruin” but there is a lot to be said about the beauty of a life enjoyed and appreciated in spite of the challenges … the insightful wisdom of a shared personal history that is attractive to heart and mind.

… the same attributes that bring thousands of tourists everyday to historical sites, like the Pantheon, respect for the remarkable feat of simple survival against the odds…catastrophes, medical, environmental and economic disasters, cultural, geographical and political… all components of life.

So until tomorrow….

So despite wrinkles and cracks… if we have let the inner light in… that’s all we really need …to glow with life … no matter how ” mature” the physical is.

Today is my favorite day… Winnie the Pooh

Look how large this cutting ” transplant” from ” Big Red” is… will one day takes its place on the bench when ” Big Red” II’s time is over.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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3 Responses to All Dried Up… and Beautiful

  1. Rachel Edwards says:



  2. Ron and Lynn Gamache says:

    What a wonderful thought for this Saturday morning. Aging can be beautiful! And wrinkles are not wrong if they are “happy wrinkles” as we were once reminded by a lady well into her sunset years. For sure by the time we are into our seventies we should have gained a few wrinkles, a few pounds and much wisdom! Then how wonderful when we are respected and loved and asked to share a little of that wisdom with those who follow after. This makes my present life at age 76 feel full of fulfilment and much blessing.


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