A few years back, on our 30th wedding anniversary, Alan and I went to Kauai. The down time was much needed. We toured, laughed and ate our way around the island. We enjoyed the beauty and the peaceful pace.

You may not be surprised that it took the first three days for my mind to quiet. I thought I was a fairly relaxed person (compared to the typical Orange County-ite). But arriving on the island and having nothing to do but enjoy the scenery, I could feel the revving in my soul. After a few days, my inner pace slowed, and I looked forward to bringing that pace back home with me.

One morning I took my camera out to the back yard. The light was, what I like to call, creamy. The rain left little droplets of wonder on leaves and flowers. I snapped away at the gorgeous Hawaiian foliage. On one side of the property I found a bush that containing beautiful red flowers. I just love this look. Some parts are in focus, some are out of focus. It seems to give the image more meaning. Kind of like life itself.

After I captured the image of the first red flower, I scanned the bush for others, in case there was a more perfect specimen. I looked down to the lower branches and saw this:

I was surprised to find a mostly spent flower. I don’t know why I was surprised. I’ve seen this occur in my own back yard with other palm-like bushes. The new growth comes out of the top and the lower branches die off and are pruned.

Surprised as I was, I found the dying flower to be just as beautiful as the fresh, new, red ones up top. In some ways, it was even more lovely. It wasn’t as tight. It had opened up, possibly releasing the seeds of new life. It had changed color, and taken on a unique character, all its own.

At any given moment in my life, there are fresh outcroppings of creativity, new opportunities and fresh starts. Alongside those are places whose time has come and gone. What once was new is now old and it is time to let go.

It is ok for both to exist together for a while. It is natural. Both of these flowers were on the same bush. The new and the old each have their own kind of beauty. Each should be treasured and thanked for being what they are, as they are.

I am learning to relax into this process. To embrace the new as it emerges and to gracefully let go when something has run its course.

Are there any new invitations or opportunities arising in your life right now? Are there areas where you can tell the time has come to let go?

Spend some time in gratitude, thanking God for the processes of your life. Engaging the seasons in their ebb and flow can lead to a little more peace in your heart.

Just for fun, below are a few more shots of the flora from that trip. Just a little loveliness for you today.