What Katy Louise Did...

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Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.

Thursday 22 May 2014

Older, wiser and more interesting… how flowers stay beautiful past their prime

I wrote the other day about the ageing process, how I was trying to come to terms with it, and how it would be good to appreciate different ages in our society, rather than only prize youth. I’d like to add to my previous musings, this time using flowers as an analogy, which is apt as the  Chelsea Flower Show is on this week. 
While the best, most perfect floral displays will be on show for the judges and public, flowers can still be beautiful even when they are past their ‘perfection’. I particularly love keeping roses and tulips long after they’ve gone ‘past it’ because I see a new beauty in them: their colours darken and intensify; their petals change shape and become more interesting; the intricate pattern of veins that run through each petal begin to show, which adds another layer of detail. When most people would have thrown them in the bin, I keep these flowers in the vase for weeks on end, enjoying each stage of their life and still seeing beauty in them, in a new way. 
Tulips are the best, as they begin as soft, tightly woven buds (like babies) that slowly unfurl to reveal the beautiful stamen and stigma (taking me back to biology at school now!), and other colours inside. 

Painting birth to death
Talking of school, my GCSE art course work was to create a painting with the theme ‘journeys’. Being a rather deep, introspective child, I interpreted that as the journey from birth to death, and chose to paint a vase of tulips - red and yellow hybrid ones, which are my favourite - showing new ones on the left, opening gradually in the middle of the vase, then ageing ones towards the right-hand side, dropping their petals on the table. 
My parents recently moved house and found this picture, still in its glass clip frame, up in the loft. I decided to ressurect it, and it’s now hanging in my bedroom. It's pretty good for a 16-year-old (I look back at a lot of things and see how good they or I were, which I never did at the time). But the picture reminds me that it’s the older tulips that looked and were the most interesting to draw and paint. If people could only get past their judgement that the flower looks old, they'd begin to appreciate these delicate, intricate patterns and shapes created by the flowers in their final phases of life.
Age changes our physical form until we disintegrate, physically, and go back to source. It’s all a huge cycle, and completely natural, so it makes me happy to see older people being celebrated in campaigns such as that for Selfridges #BeautyProject, which runs all of May and into June (the-beauty-project). Here’s to beauty in all its forms :-)

JOURNEY: My GCSE art project depicting the journey from birth to death in a vase of tulips. (ignore rumbled bed sheets reflected in the glass!) 

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