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“That’s where all its beauty lies, you know. The mortality of the thing.”

A very beautiful quote for you.

If you’re not a fan of horror – the scary, jumpy, ghosty kind – then you’ll want to avoid the series I recently watched – The Haunting of Bly Manor. (And you’ll definitely want to avoid it’s even better – or much worse, depending on how you look at it – predecessor, The Haunting of Hill House.)

There was a beautiful scene in it between two characters, and this stunning mini-monologue touching on death from one of them.

The only context you need is that these are two characters who are falling in love. Both are struggling with ghosts – one haunted by the metaphorical ghosts of her past, and the other literally haunted by a real ghost from her past. They are having trouble truly connecting – partly because the literal ghost keeps showing up and putting a dampener on things – though they clearly care about each other deeply. One has a love for nature and flowers in particular. She takes the other, one night, to a secluded spot where she has planted a moonflower. This flower, we are told, blooms for only one night a year, at night. This is what she says to her would-be lover:

“Humans are organic. It’s a fact. We’re meant to die. It’s natural. Beautiful. And it all breaks down and rises back up. And breaks down again. And every living thing grows out of every dying thing. And we leave more life behind us to take our place. That life refreshes and recycles, and on and on it goes. And that is so much better than that life getting crushed deep down in the dirt, into a rock that will burn if it’s old enough. So much better to see the leafening and flower. We leave more life behind to take our place. Like this moonflower. That’s where all its beauty lies, you know. The mortality of the thing.”

(The reference to a rock down deep that will burn is a reference to coal with links to her family’s past….which you don’t need to know more about to appreciate the words.)

There is a beauty, not a tragedy as so many think, to our mortality.

In our own lives, if we embrace this idea, it can make our time more precious, the moments more important.

In the lives of those we love who have died, if we embrace this idea, it can lead us to find the beauty and meaning and love that already exists there – just as their lives were, without needing to conjure up in our imagine extra years they never had or a future that never happened.

And to know that we make room for other life. That other life, in all it’s forms, flows on from us after we are gone (whether we have won Nobel prizes or started a famous charity or left our names on a park bench in our favourite place…or not) .

Each flower and plant, with a totally different purpose and life cycle, deserves to be appreciated as the part of nature it is. So too does each life deserve to be appreciated and loved for itself exactly how it was. Not for exactly how you or others thoughts it should be, but exactly how it was.

Some lives are epic novels, some are regular-length books, some are short stories, and some are the most beautiful and poignant quotes that stays with you for many years. Not all lives are meant to be a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica! And all…ALL…chnage the flow of life and leave their mark and add to what comes next.

Each holds just as much beauty as the next. If only you are willing to stop and look at the life exactly as it was and commit to finding it there.