How many Flowers fail in Wood--
Or perish from the Hill--
Without the priviledge to know
That they are Beautiful--
How many cast a nameless Pod
Opon the nearest Breeze--
Unconscious of the Scarlet Freight--
In bear to others eyes--
There is so much beauty around us, not only in the natural world but also in the people we pass each day on the street, the ones in the cubicles around us, in the grocery lines beside us, waiting in traffic behind us, sleeping the home across from ours. We pass by individuals with unique faces, finger prints, retinas, DNA. And yet it seems like more and more people struggle with self-esteem issues, with feelings of inadequacy, with body image issues.
This poem addresses the physical world and the millions of plants, of flowers, that exist that will never be seen by a human eye. They are works of art, unique and beautiful. Not only are they beautiful, but they will go on to create more items of beauty.
How often to are people just like those flowers, walking and living around us, and yet unseen for their beauty and uniqueness? What incredible gifts and passions have never been awakened, or are budding but were never truly noticed?
How many dreams die, shiveled and untended? How many people are passed over because someone failed to really look at them, to really get to know them, to really become part of their beauty? They are the ones that fail, in the darkness of a cold forest, withou the priviledge of knowing their precious value. They will cast their pods, their legacies, again unseen and unnoticed. Isn't the flower in the woods, never seen by a human, just as beautiful and worthy as the one in the flower bed or florist's shop? Aren't those who are never noticed just as valuable as those who are?
Maybe Dickinson is challenging her reader to step beyond the familiar, to appreciate the beauty around us but not stop there, not limit ourselves to what uniqueness we know. Instead, maybe it's time we started to look further, to seek out what hasn't been searched, to find what has never been found. Who do you know that needs to know they are beautiful? Do we know what we are throwing to the winds? Do we look where it lands and nurture it, bringing its beauty for others to see? Who do we invest in, and are we doing it intentionally?